Balloon Sinuplasty is a procedure designed to treat sinusitis. Since 2005, this FDA-approved process has been giving sufferers of sinusitis a new approach to clearing their blocked sinuses, helping them to breathe normally again.
This relatively new procedure is minimally invasive and is a good option for anyone who has not responded well to medical treatments in the past and continues to experience blocked sinuses.
Balloon Sinuplasty will dilate the patient’s sinus passages. A wire catheter is inserted into the patient’s sinus cavity and a small balloon is advanced over the wire. The balloon is then inflated. As it is inflated, the balloon opens up the sinus passages to drain out blockages and restore the patient’s normal sinus functions.
Since the sinus tissue is not removed (as it is in traditional sinus surgery), balloon sinuplasty creates less trauma in the sinus area. This means there is less post-op pain, less scarring, less bleeding and a minimal recovery time.
Doctors tend to view Balloon Sinuplasty as a useful alternative to the more invasive procedure, especially for children. This procedure is a safe, proven way to rid patients of the symptoms of chronic sinusitis. It can also relieve the types of nasal breathing problems that are often worsened by sinusitis.
What to expect after the Balloon Sinuplasty
After Balloon Sinuplasty is performed, one can expect to have cleared nasal passages, easier breathing, fewer sinus infections and an overall better quality of life. With this minimally invasive, nonsurgical procedure, patients typically do not report any negative side effects, such as those that are typically associated with traditional sinus surgery.
However, as with all medical treatments, there will be some symptoms after the procedure for which patients should be prepared. There may be some bloody drainage for the first few days after the procedure, but this will decrease, and lighten in color, quickly.
There may also be a minimal amount of swelling. This swelling may feel similar to sinus congestion. To alleviate the swelling and feelings of congestion, patients are advised to sleep with their heads elevated and to take the antibiotics given to them by the doctor. These antibiotics will also reduce the likelihood of developing a sinus infection. Many patients claim that they feel no pain after the procedure, but they may feel fatigue.
Following Balloon Sinuplasty, moderate exercise is fine, but any strenuous activity should be avoided for one week. Saline spray may be recommended in order to keep the nose lubricated and prevent any additional bleeding or complications from occurring.
Recovery after the procedure
Since Balloon Sinuplasty is performed as an in-office procedure, under local anesthesia, recovery time is usually as rapid as 24 hours. This makes it a good choice for those with minimal sinus issues who do not want to suffer through the long recovery period required with traditional sinus surgery.
Balloon sinuplasty is also a good choice for those who are adverse to surgery in general, or anyone with health problems that make surgery difficult.
After Balloon Sinuplasty, patients are typically able to drive themselves home. Generally, those who have this outpatient procedure performed say that they feel capable of completing their normal daily activities within two days. The recovery time will, however, vary from patient to patient.
Those who have had Balloon Sinuplasty performed have reported no relapses in their symptoms two years after the procedure.