Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive tool used to treat chronic and recurrent acute rhinosinusitis that is causing persistent symptoms despite prolonged medical treatment. This FDA-approved technology has been available for use in the operating room since 2005, and this procedure has been performed in over 300,000 patients nationwide and counting.
This tool can be used in the operating room under general anesthesia, but MAY also be an option for select patients to have this treatment under local anesthesia in the office. The procedure can be less invasive than traditional sinus surgery, and equally effective at relieving symptoms of chronic sinusitis. Unlike conventional endoscopic sinus surgery, it does not include removal of bone or tissue from the nose.
When performed in the office, topical and local anesthetics are applied in a relaxed environment. The sinuses are visualized with an endoscope and camera, while a lighted guide-wire is positioned atraumatically into the sinus to be dilated. The physician then inserts a small balloon, similar to those used for cardiac angioplasty, along the wire inside the catheter. Once the balloon is properly positioned, the doctor inflates it and dilates the sinus opening. As the deflated balloon is removed, the sinus drains. The patient feels a decrease in pain and pressure, and the procedure is over. If necessary, the sinus can simultaneously washed out. There is no removal of tissue, so bleeding is minimal. The procedure is very well tolerated, especially in properly selected patients.
The procedure is also very safe, with very low risk for complications. Return to normal activities is typical 24 hours later. Patients return for a follow-up visit so the dilated sinus openings can be visualized.
Advantages of this procedure include minimal invasiveness with no tissue removal, reduced bleeding, quick recovery and less pain, no nasal packing, no general anesthesia or operating room and the associated costs, and preservation of future treatment options if needed.