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Updated January 24th, 2017.
The Balloon Sinuplasty procedure is used to treat chronic sinusitis and other related conditions. There are over-the-counter and prescription remedies to help bring sufferers relief, but balloon sinuplasty offers a more lasting solution.Balloon sinuplasty is a relatively new procedure and there are many myths surrounding it, but the truth is that it is a safe and effective treatment for many people.
Myth: After the procedure, a patient’s nose needs to be packed with gauze, and the removal of the gauze is uncomfortable. People who have had traditional nasal surgery are aware of how uncomfortable this was, even years after it has been removed.
Fact: New technologies have eliminated the need for nasal packing post-procedure. Whether the patient needs traditional sinus surgery or is having balloon sinuplasty, the gauze is no longer required.
Myth: Sinus surgery has to be repeated because it often doesn’t work.
Fact: The majority of people who have sinus surgery or balloon sinuplasty see improvements in their quality of life after the procedure and it does not need to be repeated.
Myth: Recovering from these procedures is difficult and takes a great deal of time.
Fact: Traditional sinus surgery does require a few days of recovery time and you might have to take more time off work if you have a manual labor job. When it comes to balloon sinuplasty, there is almost no down time. Patients can often return to work and normal activities after a single day of rest.
Myth: After the procedure, people will have black and blue eyes.
Fact: There is normally no external change to a patient’s appearance unless they have cosmetic nasal work done at the same time.
Myth: Balloon sinuplasty is not covered by insurance.
Fact: Many plans cover the procedure, but there might be a pre-authorization required before the procedure is completed. The medical office where you are having the balloon sinuplasty should handle these details with you.
Myth: Balloon sinuplasty might not be safe.
Fact: The devices used in balloon sinuplasty were approved by the FDA in 2005 and thousands of these procedures have been performed since. The procedure’s safety profile is excellent.
Myth: Every patient who has sinus issues is a candidate for balloon sinuplasty.
Fact: When a patient has a deviated septum or large polyps, they may be better suited to traditional sinus surgery that is done under a general anesthesia. Some patients with these issues can still benefit from balloon sinuplasty with less recovery time.
Myth: There is no good treatment for nasal polyps because they always reoccur.
Fact: While they can reoccur, advances in the treatment options reduce the likelihood of them coming back. A doctor can provide navigation of a patient’s polyps so they can identify where they occur and treat them more accurately.
Myth: The procedure is so painful that it is intolerable.
Fact: Balloon sinuplasty involves the use of local and topical anesthetics to make the procedure more tolerable. There is a good chance the patient will feel a sensation more like pressure and less like pain.
Myth: Balloon sinuplasty will not be effective in relieving symptoms.
Fact: Balloon sinuplasty has proven very effective in providing lasting relief of chronic sinusitis symptoms.
Balloon sinuplasty is a less invasive, alternative treatment to the traditional endoscopic sinus surgery. A balloon is used to dilate the sinuses instead of using metal surgical tools to cut and remove tissue. This increases the sinus openings with fewer complications and less risk.As local anesthesia is used as opposed to the general anesthesia used in traditional sinus surgery, balloon sinuplasty works well for patients who would not be candidates for traditional surgery because of their health, age, previous reaction to anesthesia, or fear of being put under general anesthesia. For many patients, balloon sinuplasty can reduce symptoms as much as traditional surgery.Please consult the American Sinus Institute for further information on balloon sinuplasty.