Blocked sinuses pathways can lead to chronic or recurrent sinus infections, frequent headaches, decreased sense of smell and unrelenting congestion. Fortunately, for those who suffer from chronic sinus problems, in-office balloon sinuplasty can safely and effectively provide long-lasting relief when first line medications and other therapies fail. Compared to traditional sinus surgeries which involve the removal of bone and tissue to restructure the sinuses, balloon sinuplasty is minimally invasive and improves sinus drainage by expanding the sinus passageways with a balloon, a similar technique used to dilate arteries in cardiac procedures.
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Balloon sinuplasty procedures are often performed in the comfort of the office, under local anesthesia, thereby avoiding excess costs from outpatient or hospital facility fees, as well as the risks and costs of general anesthesia. Procedure times can vary, but one can expect it to last at least an hour. The more sinuses that are blocked, the more time the procedure may require. Local numbing medicine is applied directly to the nasal and sinus passageways through nasal sprays for comfort. Oral or IV sedation may also be given if needed.
Once the numbing medication takes effect, a small flexible wire is inserted into the nasal passageways up into the sinus. This wire then guides the balloon into the blocked sinus passageway and the balloon is inflated. When the expansion is complete, the balloon is deflated and gently removed. The treated passageway is restructured and now properly functioning. Most clients report little to no discomfort during in-office balloon sinuplasty.
Some post-procedure swelling and congestion can be expected immediately after balloon sinuplasty. Although the full effects of the procedure may not be realized until three of four weeks after the procedure, many individuals feel immediate relief when their blocked sinuses start to drain, and the pressure is relieved. Overall, aftercare is minimal and usually only requires the use of saline nasal sprays to keep the passageways hydrated. Intranasal corticosteroids are often prescribed to decrease inflammation and swelling. Forceful blowing of the nose and avoiding any activity that could traumatize the nose should be avoided if possible. Compared to traditional sinus surgeries, recovery is rather short and most resume daily activities after two to three days of rest. Exercise or other types of strenuous activities should be avoided for the first few weeks.
Is balloon sinuplasty for you? If you suffer from chronic sinus pressure, headaches, frequent sinus infection and other upper respiratory complaints, contact our office today to see if you are a candidate for balloon sinuplasty. This revolutionary treatment of chronic sinus conditions produces great results and its convenience, safety profile and lower cost add to its high patient satisfaction.