Balloon Sinuplasty

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Having blocked sinuses can be problematic for those who suffer from the condition.

Fortunately, a treatment known as a balloon sinuplasty may be a viable option for patients hoping to find relief from the discomfort of blocked sinuses.

What Does the Procedure Entail?

During a balloon sinuplasty, a doctor may administer some anesthetic to make the patient comfortable. This may be a local or a general and depends on individual circumstance. A thin, flexible tube known as a catheter is then inserted into the sinus cavities. This is often guided by a small light in order to allow the doctor to have optimal visualization. The tube is inflated to create a balloon effect. This dilates the sinus opening so that the doctor can flush out any build-up causing blockage. The flush is generally a common saline solution. Once the mucus is cleared out, problematic pressure associated with sinusitis usually begins to subside and breathing through the nose becomes easier.

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Who Could Benefit from Balloon Sinuplasty?

People who suffer from chronic sinusitis might struggle to find long-lasting relief. Symptoms for this health condition can include difficulty breathing through the nose, headaches, jaw pain, and facial pain. This is usually caused by a build-up of mucus that is unable to drain due to inflamed sinus passages. Other conditions that could exacerbate symptoms might be seasonal allergies, toothaches, or the development of nasal polyps. When other treatment options fail to improve physical well-being, then some individuals may want to consider balloon sinuplasty in order to resolve matters.

What Are the Potential Benefits?

This procedure is fairly noninvasive. No surgical cutting takes place, and recovery tends to be simple and short-term. The opportunity for negative side effects is minimal. Possible side effects may include some facial tenderness, some signs of blood in the mucus for a couple of days, or infection. These are not excessively common, however. The natural structure, bones, and tissues are typically left in tact with this particular approach as well, although the inflation of the balloon may temporarily shift them in order to widen openings for the purpose of flushing. Results tend to be positive and include improved ability to breathe and pass mucus out of the nose with less difficulty. The execution of the procedure is straight-forward. Though individual circumstance needs to be accounted for, the procedure usually takes approximately one hour to perform. There are limited stays and post-operative appointments following this procedure.

In the event that typical therapeutic approaches fail to resolve the blockages associated with swollen and inflamed sinuses, a consultation with a physician familiar with balloon sinuplasty may prove beneficial. A thorough discussion and examination can be conducted at that time. If the procedure seems like an appropriate next step, then the patient can move forward with scheduling. With little prep required and such a low risk for complication during recovery, balloon sinuplasty may prove most effective and end up providing the desired results. The overall goal of any treatment plan at UCI’s Sinus Surgery Center is to amplify the quality of life, and the purpose behind a balloon sinuplasty is no different.