What is Balloon Sinuplasty? (Balloon Sinus Dilation)
In the early 2000’s Balloon Sinuplasty (balloon sinus dilatation) was developed and made popular first in Europe and then in America. The procedure uses principles designed and expanded upon by radiologist and cardiologist in the dilatation and stenting of vascular diseases. Balloon dilation sinuplasty reshapes and expands the drainage pathways of the maxillary and frontal sinuses.
Why choose Balloon Sinuplasty?
The advantage of Balloon Sinuplasty (sinus dilation) over endoscopic sinusitus surgery includes less pain and bleeding, a convenient one day office procedure, no general anesthesia, quick recovery, minimal time away from work, a decrease in health care cost, and near instant lasting relief.
Am I a good fit for Balloon Sinuplasty?
The ideal patient for Balloon Sinuplasty is a patient with either recurrent or chronic sinusitis due to anatomic, allergic, or environmental problems. Most patients experience predominant symptoms of facial pain, headaches, upper dental pain, and forehead pain. Often times the pain associated symptoms are worse during periods of weather change or sudden temperature or barometric pressure changes. Balloon Sinuplasty risks are minimal.
How does Balloon Sinus Dilation work?
Balloon Sinuplasty requires a CT scan to define the anatomy of the sinuses and rule out more serious sinus or respiratory problems. Patients generally already have been treated with a nasal steroid spray, antihistamines, and an antibiotic. Your ear, nose and throat doctor will usually have the patient continue the nasal steroid spray up to and right after Balloon Sinuplasty.
The procedure is done in the office after the patient has taken a prescription sedative like valium (diazepam). It typically takes less than an hour to topically anesthetize the sinus outflow tracts and safely perform the balloon dilatation. Patients are observed for a short period of time and then discharged home with a friend or family member. Balloon Sinuplasty recovery is minimal– the majority of patients can return to work the next day.
Almost 70% of Balloon Sinuplasty patients will have long term improvement in symptoms.
How much does Balloon Sinuplasty cost?
Balloon Sinuplasty is typically covered by insurance. Call our office today to get a free estimate based on your insurance coverage. You can also click here to check to see if Balloon Sinuplasty is covered by insurance.
The sinuses are hollow cavities in the bones of the face that are lined by mucosa. Mucosa is the soft pink tissue that lines the inside of the mouth. There are four sinuses: the paired frontal sinuses, maxillary sinuses, ethmoid sinuses, and a single sphenoid sinus. There are several functions the sinuses perform. These include production of mucus that helps the nose humidify and clean the air that we breath. This mucus also collects pollen, pollutants, viruses, and bacteria and helps clear it through the digestive system.
What causes Sinus Infections?
Sinus infections are an inflammation of the lining tissue of the sinus and their drainage pathways. Typical symptoms include headache- pressure like pain of the face, forehead, cheeks, and pain around or behind the eyes, dental pain, and tenderness of the face. Some people experience loss of smell, bad breath, cough, fever, sore throat, and discolored nasal drainage. Some patients experience fatigue and malaise.
The causes of sinusitis are the common upper respiratory viruses, allergies to pollens and mold, environmental irritants like air pollution, or tobacco smoke. Blockage like a deviated septum, polyps, or narrow anatomic drainage pathways can also cause sinusitis. If the mucus produced by the sinuses does not drain into the nose it will eventually stagnate and become infected with viruses and bacteria. Sinus infections are categorized as an acute infection, recurrent infections, and chronic infections.
How long does a sinus infection last?
In general an acute infection last less than four weeks. Recurrent infections are defined as 4 infections in a year. There are periods of relief in between infections. Chronic infections are symptoms that last more than 12 weeks. Symptoms may improve but generally do not completely resolve. Medical treatment includes the use of nasal irrigation (saline rinses, netti pot, holistic irrigants), oral decongestants, topical decongestants, topical steroids, mucolytics, and immune modifiers ( antihistamines, leukotriene inhibitors, steroids).
Treatment options for sinus infections
The goal of medical treatment is to reduce swelling, thin mucus, establish drainage, and treat the infection. There are several unwanted side effects of medical therapy including nasal dryness and bleeding. Antibiotics are expensive and can cause diarrhea and lead to the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Decongestants can cause rebound congestion, elevated blood pressure and a rapid pulse, nervousness and trouble sleeping. Antihistamines can cause drowsiness and thickening of nasal secretions. Oral steroids are limited to short durations of therapy due to numerous side effects including depressed immune system, elevated blood sugars, joint complications, acne, and weight gain.
Types of Sinus Surgery
Due to the severity of sinus infections and their effect on the health of patients that suffer from recurrent and chronic sinus infections Otolaryngologist have developed novel surgeries with limit invasive side effects to treat sinusitis. In the early 1980’s Endoscopic Sinusitus Surgery (nasal surgery) was popularized in America. Today approximately 500,000 Americans have outpatient endoscopic sinus surgery performed each year.
Although different names and techniques are described for this procedure it generally entails a general anesthetic and at least a week of limited activity for recovery. Several postoperative visits are necessary, and patients have to clean their sinuses regularly with sinus irrigants, and topical steroids are used for several weeks after surgery. There is a short period of postoperative pain and mild bleeding after surgery. Patients will require several postoperative visits fordebridement of crusts and mucus.