Conditions We Treat: Balloon Sinuplasty
Also known as balloon sinus dilation, balloon sinuplasty is a procedure used to treat chronic sinusitis. Sinusitis is inflammation of the tissue lining the sinuses. It may be caused by a viral or bacterial infection, severe allergies, or growths such as nasal polyps. The sinuses are four paired cavities (spaces) in the head connected by narrow channels. When inflammation occurs, these spaces narrow and become congested, creating that familiar “stuffed up” feeling. Sinusitis can also make it difficult to breathe.
What Are the Symptoms of Chronic Sinusitis?
Chronic sinusitis is characterized as sinusitis lasting three months or more. Symptoms may vary depending on the underlying cause, but the following are common:
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Headaches and earaches
- Facial pain or tenderness
- Postnasal drainage
- Loss of taste or smell
For more information about sinusitis, visit our web page on that topic.
What Happens During the Procedure?
When commonly prescribed treatments for sinusitis such as antihistamines, decongestants, saline sprays, and corticosteroids fail to resolve the condition, balloon sinus dilation may be used to open the sinuses and allow better mucus drainage. This is achieved by inserting a small balloon into the sinus cavity via the nostrils and gently inflating it. Since this is a relatively simple operation, this procedure is performed awake in an office setting with local anesthesia to prevent distress and discomfort.
Are there any risks?
Like all surgical procedures performed, balloon sinus dilation does present a small risk of complications, which may include pain, eye swelling, nasal swelling, fatigue, bloody drainage, and cerebrospinal fluid leak. Reactions to local anesthesia include itching, hives, shivering, disorientation, and nausea or vomiting. Please talk to your doctor if any of these concerns you; most complications are rarely experienced.
Most patients are able to return home within a few hours of their dilation. Recovery time is unique to everyone, but you can usually expect to get back to your normal activities within 48 hours. Try not to blow your nose for at least 24 hours following the procedure. During recovery, it’s important to rest and monitor yourself for any potential complications. An antibiotic may be prescribed to prevent or treat infection, and over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol are a good choice for easing any lingering pain or discomfort.