Patients with recurrent acute rhinosinusitis or chronic sinusitis symptoms that do not respond well to medication are prime candidates for sinus surgery. Often, surgery is the only recourse for severe symptoms. Many patients may try to avoid traditional sinus surgery due to its invasive and painful nature, even if they are living with constant sinus discomfort and discharge.
The traditional sinuplasty is associated with breaking tissue and bones in an attempt to widen sinus passages to facilitate easier breathing. This type of surgery is painful and takes some time for patients to recover from the invasive restructuring of bone and sinus tissue. Pain medication and extensive aftercare are essential for a full recovery. There is also the risk of infection and other complications, as there is with all surgeries that involve cutting into tissue.
Now there is another option. Balloon sinuplasty has been developed as a less invasive alternative to traditional surgery as it prevents major tissue trauma and promotes faster healing after the procedure. It is considered a true breakthrough in endoscopic sinus surgery. One of the main advantages of balloon sinuplasty over traditional sinus surgery is that patients are able to return to work after just a day or two.
What is Balloon Sinuplasty?
Balloon sinuplasty – also known at the “Honrubia Technique,” after Dr. Vincent F. Honrubia who developed it – is performed under general anesthesia, although in some cases patients have been able to tolerate the procedure under local anesthesia. It is performed on chronic sinusitis patients to immediately alleviate discomfort.
A tiny balloon is inserted into the blocked sinus passage and then inflated, much like a heart surgeon opens up blocked arteries with a balloon angioplasty. The balloon displaces and widens the sinus passage and then the cavity is cleared of pus, mucus and debris with a saline rinse. After the sinus cavity is cleared, the balloon is removed, leaving an open and clean sinus passage.
The recovery time after this procedure is drastically decreased because very little, if any, sinus tissue is removed. The average length of the procedure is just over an hour and patients do not require an overnight hospital stay, unlike traditional sinus surgery.
Are there risks involved in the Honrubia Method?
There are always minimal risks involved with anesthesia, but balloon sinuplasty is inherently less invasive and thus the risks are very low. The procedure can be performed as an office visit and does not require extended hospitalization. There is less risk of infection and overall the patient recovers much faster. Because balloon sinuplasty is less painful, patients remain in higher spirits and follow up treatment is minimal, often requiring only a follow up walk-in visit.
What equipment is used in this procedure?
Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary, Acclarent, are the leaders in research and development in the field of balloon sinus surgery today. They have developed an all-encompassing Balloon Sinuplasty System exclusively used by the American Sinus Institute. The Acclarent System uses the highest quality parts and equipment and the balloon used in the procedure is made from a special plastic that does not contain any latex or potentially irritating substances.
The Honrubia Method was approved as a safe alternative to traditional sinus surgery by the FDA in 2005. Since then, more than 380,000 patients have safely undergone Balloon Sinuplasty and over 95% say they would have the procedure done again.
At the American Sinus Institute, patient comfort and safety are our number one concern. Surgeons specializing in the Honrubia Technique ensure that our patients have the most relaxing and positive surgery experience possible. Please contact us for a consultation today.