Millions of Americans – more than 37 million – are afflicted by a painful medical condition known as sinusitis. While many cases are temporary and treatable with various medications, treating chronic sinusitis requires more proactive measures, and for those life-long sufferers balloon sinuplasty may be the solution.

What is Chronic Sinusitis?

In cases of either acute or chronic sinusitis, the sinus passageway is blocked, causing sinus pressure, congestion, difficulty breathing through the nose, sinus headaches, fatigue, sore throat, tenderness and swelling around the eyes, cheeks, nose, and forehead, along with a whole host of other symptoms. The aim of balloon sinuplasty is to open that sinus passage in order to relieve those same symptoms.

How Can Balloon Sinuplasty Help?

The surgical procedure, developed by Acclarent, is a less invasive option for patients who have not found relief from prescribed antibiotics – a situation that an estimated 20% of sinusitis sufferers find themselves in – and can be performed under local anesthetic with a fast recovery.

During balloon sinuplasty, a small, flexible, balloon catheter is inserted into the inflamed sinus and then slowly inflated to expand the closed sinus opening. Once expanded, saline solution is sprayed into the inflamed sinus to flush out any pus and mucus, the catheter system is removed, and the procedure is complete.

Because of the relative simplicity of the procedure, it can be performed in a physician office environment as opposed to a hospital operating room, and unlike other sinus surgeries, no cutting or removal of bone tissue is involved, making the procedure safe, effective, and patient pleasing.

Though recovery time can vary with each patient, most patients who undergo the procedure can return to normal activities and work within two days, making balloon sinuplastya convenient alternative to suffering in silence.

Does Balloon Sinuplasty Work?

With more than 150,000 patients who have had their chronic sinusitis treated safely with the procedure, and over 95% of patients demonstrating an improvement in sinus symptoms, balloon sinuplasty has and continues to prove to be a safe and effective solution for patients suffering from sinusitis.

Learn More About Balloon Sinuplasty

For more information on the benefits of balloon sinuplasty and other treatment options for your chronic sinusitis, check out the The Allergy & Sinus Center section of our website, or visit one of our four Central Florida locations to a meet a physician that specializes in this technique.

By Hao “Mimi” Train, M.D., F.A.C.S.