What You Should Know About Balloon Sinuplasty
Blocked sinuses can lead to discomfort and infections that are painful and disruptive. There are different ways to help treat those who suffer from sinus issues. Balloon sinuplasty is one such treatment option. This procedure, which is also called balloon catheter dilation surgery, clears blocked sinuses. While the surgery is new in comparison to others, it was approved by the FDA in 2005 and is often called the ‘smart sinus’ procedure. If you have chronic sinusitis, it’s a miserable way to live, especially if other treatments aren’t helping. With balloon sinuplasty, there’s no cutting and no bone or tissue removal.
The Balloon Sinuplasty Procedure
You can have the surgery done in the surgery or hospital under general anesthesia but it is usually performed within the office of an ENT specialist using only local anesthesia. The location of the procedure is for you and your doctor to decide together. Once the procedure begins, your doctor will insert a tiny light into the nose so they can see. Then, a balloon catheter is inserted into the sinus passageway. The balloon is slowly inflated, which causes the sinus opening to expand. The doctor will also flush out any mucus or build-up in the cavity with a saline solution. While the balloon is in place, the bones around your sinuses will gently restructure themselves. After the process is complete, the balloon will come out and the sinus passage will be wider and free of pressure.
The procedure is covered by most insurance companies. The majority of patients have a copay and this varies from policy to policy. At the Breathe Clear Institute our scheduler works with you to find out what, if any, your share of the costs will be so you don’t have any surprises.
Recovery and Future Care
Once the procedure is done, most patients can return to their daily routine in a few days. For those who choose general anesthesia in the operating room, this may take up to a week. Of course, everyone is different and some recover more quickly or take more time to recover. Plan to have some discharge from your nose for up to a week and you will most likely feel congested as well. As is true with recovery from most procedures, you might also feel more tired than normal. You will not want to blow your nose and you will want to avoid strenuous activities for the first week. You’re advised to sleep with your head elevated.
Talking About Balloon Sinuplasty
The first step to deciding whether or not this procedure is for you is to talk to your ENT doctor about the options. If you’ve already gone through various medical treatments and nothing seems to be working, Balloon Sinuplasty might be the solution to your suffering. The professionals at the Breathe Clear Institute are happy to answer your questions and go into more detail about this procedure so you can make an informed decision about whether it is the right option for you.