Sinusitis affects 37 million people each year, making it one of the most common health problems in the U.S. It is more prevalent than heart disease and asthma and has a greater impact on quality of life than chronic back pain or congestive heart failure. Symptoms may significantly affect people physically, functionally, and emotionally.
A new technology may provide relief for chronic sinusitis sufferers. An endoscopic, outpatient procedure—called “balloon sinuplasty”—gently restructures and opens narrow sinus passageways, restoring normal drainage and function.
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If you have been diagnosed with chronic sinusitis and are not responding well to antibiotics you may be a candidate for surgery, you now have a less invasive option that is clinically proven to be safe, effective and improve the quality of your life.
Balloon sinuplasty may be particularly beneficial to patients that have had their sinus problems diagnosed early. For patients with chronic, long-lasting problems, the procedure may be effective for some, though not all, of their sinuses.
Your ear, nose and throat specialist will discuss with you whether or not you are a candidate for full or partial treatment using balloon sinuplasty.
What is Sinusitis?
Sinusitis (also called rhinosinusitis) is the name of the condition in which the lining of your sinuses becomes inflamed. The sinuses are air spaces behind the bones of the upper face, between the eyes and behind the forehead, nose and cheeks.
Normally, the sinuses drain through small openings into the inside of the nose. Anything that blocks the flow may cause a buildup of mucus in the sinuses. The blockage and inflammation of the sinus membranes can be infectious or non-infectious.
The symptoms caused by sinusitis may be quite uncomfortable. The signs and symptoms may include:
- Facial pain, pressure, congestion or fullness
- Difficulty breathing through the nose
- Discharge of yellow or green mucus from the nose
- Teeth pain
- Loss of the sense of smell or taste
- Sore throat
- Bad breath
How Balloon Sinuplasty Works
Under general anesthesia, a physician inserts a guide wire catheter equipped with a tiny balloon through the nostril in order to gain access to the blocked sinus passageway and the balloon is inflated, gently opening and widening the sinus passageway. The balloon is then deflated and withdrawn leaving an open sinus passageway thus restoring normal sinus drainage and function.
Benefits of Balloon Sinuplasty
- Minimally invasive
- Reduced bleeding
- Improved recovery time
- Does not limit treatment options
Does Not Limit Treatment Options
While recovery time varies with each patient, many people can return to normal activities within 24 hours.
As with use of any surgical instrument, there are risks, and results may vary from patient to patient. Talk with your doctor about your specific condition to find out if the balloon sinuplasty option is right for you.