Sinus & Allergy

What Is Balloon Sinuplasty? Everything You Need to Know

written by Becki Andrus

Are you suffering from chronic sinus problems? Whether you have non-stop symptoms or recurring infections that come back several times a year, it might be time to talk to a sinus doctor about treatment options.

Sinus infections are common, especially when underlying medical conditions are contributing to the development of an infection. Unfortunately, these symptoms are often so severe that they disrupt daily activities. Do you find it challenging to get through the day because of the ongoing pressure and pain in the sinuses?

You might experience temporary relief using over-the-counter medications or antibiotics. But if the symptoms keep coming back, you should talk to a specialist to address the underlying causes. One potential solution is to use balloon sinuplasty to clear up your issues with chronic sinus infections.

Development of Balloon Sinuplasty

Before you decide if this treatment is right for you, it’s best to talk to a sinus doctor about your unique symptoms and concerns. Your ENT will help you determine a diagnosis, then discuss potential solutions to help you find immediate relief.

Balloon sinuplasty is a standard treatment for chronic, severe nasal blockages and inflammation in the sinus areas. When the drainage pathways are blocked, it creates the perfect conditions for the development of infections. Balloon sinuplasty is a way to open those pathways, which reduces the risk of repeat infections.

At first, balloon sinuplasty technology was used to open congestion in blood vessels leading to and from the heart. Doctors found that angioplasty was a great way to open up the damaged blood vessels, then used the same technology in the sinus passages.

Even though balloon sinuplasty is a relatively new treatment (the FDA approved it in 2005), it is now commonly used by sinus doctors across the country.

How it Works

Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally-invasive treatment that accesses the sinuses through the nasal openings. It’s an endoscopic nasal surgery that can be done in an outpatient facility if your doctor has the right equipment.

With this surgical technique, a balloon catheter is inserted through the nose and into the sinuses. When the larger sinus areas are reached, then the balloon is inflated to open up the blockages. The goal is to dilate the sinus openings so mucus and congestion can drain.

In addition to flushing the sinuses with a saline solution at the time of treatment, the open sinuses maintain drainage after the treatment is complete. The doctor will deflate the balloon and remove the endoscopic equipment, and the sinus passages will maintain the dilation that was achieved.

Since anesthesia is used during this treatment, you won’t feel any pain. But there will be discomfort after you wake up and through the recovery time.

Results You Can Expect from Balloon Sinuplasty

Balloon sinuplasty is most commonly recommended for patients with rhinosinusitis or chronic sinusitis. This treatment is an excellent solution for anyone suffering from chronic blockages or inflammation in the sinuses.

Typically, balloon sinuplasty isn’t necessary for one-time sinus infections. If you have an acute condition, your sinus doctor will explore other potential treatment options.

In most cases, patients enjoy immediate relief after the treatment is complete. Sometimes, balloon sinuplasty offers long-term results, especially when the patient is proactive about other at-home remedies to reduce the risk of recurring sinus infections.

On the other hand, some patients require repeat treatments if the sinus issues return. Your ENT will help you determine the underlying cause of your sinus blockages to help you decide whether you might need to repeat this treatment in the future.

Opening the Blockages & Addressing Underlying Conditions with Balloon Sinuplasty

Remember that balloon sinuplasty addresses the immediate symptoms but doesn’t treat the root cause issue. It feels good to improve airflow and open blocked sinuses, but you also need to work with a sinus doctor to get to the root cause of your sinus issues.

For example, if you are experiencing severe sinus issues in allergy season, this procedure might be recommended to open the passages. But if you don’t manage the allergies in future seasons, then the same symptoms can return.

Talk to your ENT about the medical conditions and potential treatments that can help with the ongoing management of your sinus issues. Balloon sinuplasty might be just the tool in your personal treatment plan to help you achieve long-lasting relief.

Side Effects from Balloon Sinuplasty

What should you expect when you wake up from anesthesia after balloon sinuplasty? You will experience pain and discomfort, usually managed using over-the-counter pain medications. Talk to your doctor to determine the suitable types of pain medications and appropriate dosages.

Additionally, you will likely have other side effects after the surgery. Common symptoms during balloon sinuplasty recovery include:

  • Congestion
  • Bloody nasal discharge (lasting a few days)
  • Tenderness in the cheeks, forehead, and nasal areas
  • Minor swelling in the nasal and facial areas

Make sure to follow the doctor’s recommendations for preventing infection after the surgery. You will need to clean the sinuses, and you might have an antibiotic medication to take for a few days.

Also, prioritize rest and relaxation for a few days after the surgery. Taking it easy will help your body heal so you can avoid secondary infections.

Recovery Timeline After Balloon Sinuplasty Sinus Surgery

Since balloon sinuplasty is a minimally-invasive treatment, you won’t need to work through weeks of recovery. There is no need to cut the bone or tissue during the procedure, which speeds up recovery time significantly.

Compared to major sinus surgery, balloon sinuplasty recovery is relatively short. Most people feel well enough to return to their regular activities within a day or two. Continue a low-impact lifestyle for about a week, paying attention to your symptoms during this recovery time. Some people need a little more time, depending on the extent of the treatment and other underlying medical concerns.

Make sure you are diligent about following recommendations from your sinus doctor, especially during the first 24 hours after the surgery. These recommendations help to minimize complications from the treatment.

Is Balloon Sinuplasty Right for You?

Are you experiencing chronic sinus pain and ongoing symptoms? Then you might benefit from balloon sinuplasty.

The first step is to find a sinus doctor near me. Then, you can schedule an appointment to discuss your symptoms, diagnosis, and possible treatment plan. Many people benefit from balloon sinuplasty to reduce chronic congestion, nasal issues, and infections that don’t respond to antibiotics.

One of the benefits of choosing Collin County Ear, Nose, and Throat is that we offer a personalized treatment plan for every patient. Our doctors take the time to evaluate your medical history, review your symptoms, and discuss various treatments.

Our goal is to provide the best services to match your unique situation. Not only do we offer balloon sinuplasty, but our team can offer a range of other treatment solutions as needed.

Schedule an ENT Exam to Discuss Your Sinus Issues

We serve patients in the Collin County and Dallas areas. Simply reach out to us at Collin County Ear, Nose, and Throat for an appointment at a nearby office in Plano or Frisco, TX. You can request an exam through our online form or call: (972) 596-4005.

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