Chronic sinusitis is a common condition in which the sinuses continually become or stay inflamed or swollen. For many who suffer from sinusitis, medication may offer little relief from the debilitating effects, which often include headache and facial pain.
Balloon Sinus Dilation Services
Balloon sinus dilation is recommended for patients who have chronic sinusitis that persists despite the use of antibiotics and steroids, or who have recurrent acute sinusitis at least three times a year.
The ideal candidate for the procedure shows mild to moderate sinus disease on a CT scan.
For those with nasal polyps, or noncancerous growths on the lining of nasal passages or sinuses, balloon dilation alone may not help. For these patients, the best way to determine if the procedure may be right for them, is with a sinus CT scan. This scan can sometimes be performed in the office at the time of the patient’s consultation.
Unlike traditional sinus surgery, balloon sinus dilation does not involve the cutting or removal of bone and tissue and can be performed as an in-office procedure.
Working with small cameras and instruments inserted through the nose, the surgeon threads a small balloon catheter through the sinus opening. He or she then inflates the balloon with water which dilates the sinus opening. This helps to promote drainage and alleviates pain.
Most patients return to work the next day and say that the procedure is no more difficult than having a tooth repaired.
Others yet are ready to drive home within 10 to 15 minutes after the procedure. In fact, on average, our patients only required pain medication for less than one day following the procedure and were able to return to normal activity within an average of 1.6 days, compared to the 4.8 days of recovery that endoscopic sinus surgery requires.
Most patients are able to have the procedure in our office under local anesthesia. Others, due to anxiety, difficult anatomy or insurance restrictions, may need to have the procedure performed under general anesthesia – whether in our office or in the operating room.
If you do not feel you need the services of an anesthesiologist, we can pre-medicate you in the office with an oral anti-anxiety medication. You will need a designated driver following any oral sedation or general anesthesia.
Numerous studies have shown that the benefit of balloon dilation lasts at least one to two years in 90 to 95% of patients, which is as good as or better than endoscopic sinus surgery. We have every reason to expect that the improvement is permanent.