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Over 37 million people suffer from sinus problems every year. At a moment’s notice, symptoms can flare up bringing headaches, breathing trouble, facial pressure, constant congestion and sleeping issues to the people affected. Since 2005, almost 400,000 people who suffer daily with sinus issues have been helped by a new procedure called balloon sinuplasty.
Balloon sinuplasty has been proven safe and effective for the treatment of sinusitis. During the procedure, a wire catheter with a balloon over it is inserted into the sinus passages. The balloon is then inflated, dilating the sinus passages and widening the nasal passages to restore normal function. It is very similar to angioplasty for collapsing and clogged arteries.Balloon sinuplasty is minimally invasive, and in many cases can be performed in the doctor’s office under local anesthetic. There is no cutting of nasal bone or tissue – as occurs with traditional sinus surgeries – and patients can return to normal activities very quickly, free of the suffering of sinusitis.For patients that suffer from problems that originate in the maxillary, sphenoid or frontal sinus, or are related to allergies or asthma, the procedure can be truly relieving. It delivers constant and lasting improvements, with very low incidence of complications. It’s even approved for children, bringing relief to young ones who suffer from recurring sinus issues.
In determining whether or not a person is a candidate for balloon sinuplasty, they first need to consult with an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor. After a seemingly endless line of different over-the-counter and prescribed medications, many simply cannot find relief for their sinus issues, and turn to balloon sinuplasty. It is a fairly simply procedure that can bring almost instant relief.An ENT specialist will have a number of questions to ask to determine if a person is a good candidate for the procedure. Symptoms that can be an indicator of a possible need for the procedure include:
In addition, the doctor will also want to know what over-the-counter medications a person may have taken to try to control the sinus issues, and the frequency at which they have been taking them. If a person has experienced four or more sinus infections over the course of a calendar year, and they have exhausted all medication options, they may make an excellent candidate for a procedure.
Not everyone is a candidate for balloon sinuplasty, however. Unfortunately, cases involving nasal polyps, deviated septums or facial trauma can’t be helped by the procedure. Those aren’t true sinus problems as they occur outside the actual sinuses, though they also can cause breathing troubles.Those that pursue balloon sinuplasty as a solution to their recurring sinus problems also need to take the time to investigate the procedure, and make sure the approach taken is a good fit for their individual issues. When done correctly, those who have the procedure go on to enjoy an enhanced quality of life and rid themselves of their continuing sinus issues.
At the American Sinus Institute, we perform balloon sinuplasty using the Honrubia Technique, innovated by Dr. Vincent Honrubia. It focuses on patient comfort and safety first. This results in a procedure that eliminates the pain of traditional sinus surgery, and accelerates the healing process, getting sufferers back to a life free of sinus problems as quickly as possible. Contact us for more information.