A minimally invasive procedure performed under general anesthesia in an outpatient setting, balloon sinuplasty is an innovative treatment for chronic sinusitis. Because access is gained through the nostril, the procedure does not require incisions or the removal of bone and tissue. As a result, patients generally experience less pain, risk of infection, blood loss, bruising and swelling than from traditional "open" surgery.
How it works
A physician inserts a catheter equipped with a tiny balloon through the nostril to gain access to the blocked sinus passageway. The balloon is inflated, gently opening and widening the sinus passageway. The balloon is then deflated and withdrawn, leaving an open sinus passageway and restoring normal drainage and function.
Although there are risks associated with any surgery, balloon sinuplasty has been shown to be clinically safe and effective. Some benefits include:
- Since the device is inserted gently into the nostril, no cutting or incisions are necessary. The procedure generally results in less pain, bleeding, bruising, swelling and risk of infection.
- The procedure typically involves no tissue or bone removal, often resulting in less bleeding. Nasal packing may not be necessary.
- While recovery times vary, most patients can return to normal activities faster than with traditional surgery.