Balloon Sinuplasty is a new, less invasive endoscopic sinus surgery for patients suffering from chronic sinusitis but who have not responded well to prescribed medication treatments.
It is also a viable option for patients who have attempted to clear their sinusitis using other treatment methods but whose sinuses remain clogged, including children.
“A lot of children when they have chronic sinus issues will present with a chronic cough, even nausea, and vomiting,” says Hao “Mimi” Tran, M.D., F.A.C.S., a board-certified otolaryngologist at The Ear, Nose, Throat & Plastic Surgery Associates. “A CT scan can verify if children have some obstruction in their sinuses.”
Once a child has been diagnosed with sinusitis, an ear, nose, and throat specialist can determine the best course of action to take.
Why Is Balloon Sinuplasty a Good Option for Children?
Many otolaryngologists see balloon sinuplasty as a viable option for children over more invasive sinus surgeries because the procedure:
- Is safe
- Has been proven to alleviate the symptoms of chronic sinusitis
- Can also be effective at relieving nasal breathing difficulties that are often magnified by sinusitis.
What Is Balloon Sinuplasty?
Sinusitis is one of the more prevalent health conditions in the U.S., impacting over 37 million people annually. developed by Acclarent, balloon sinuplasty is one of the latest and less invasive alternatives to traditional sinus surgery to open blocked sinus passageways; the procedure can restore normal sinus drainage for patients suffering from chronic allergies and sinusitis.
In cases of either acute or chronic sinusitis, the sinus pathways are blocked causing:
- Sinus pressure, congestion, and difficulty breathing through the nose
- Sinus headaches
- Fatigue and sore throat
- Tenderness and swelling around the eyes, cheeks, nose, and forehead
Balloon sinuplasty aims to free the sinus pathways to alleviate those symptoms. The FDA-approved procedure utilizes a small, flexible balloon to open and restructure nasal passageways which may ease sinus headaches, fatigue, and congestion. In fact, the procedure is very similar in technique to the way a cardiologist would open blocked arteries during balloon angioplasty.
Results of Balloon Sinuplasty with Children
It is estimated that 20% of patients with sinusitis fail to find relief from prescribed antibiotics. Balloon sinuplasty can be performed under local anesthetic and has several advantages over traditional sinus surgery including:
- Reduced pain
- Quicker recovery times
- Bone and tissues remain intact
- Minimal bleeding
Over 150,000 patients have had their chronic sinusitis treated safely with the procedure, and over 95% of patients have demonstrated an improvement in sinus symptoms.
“In 2010, there was an interesting article by Dr. Ramanand which looked at children undergoing balloon sinuplasty for chronic sinus and nasal symptoms such as nasal congestion, sleep disturbance, and discolored mucus,” says Dr. Tran. “The one-year study showed that just taking out the adenoids alone provided a 50% success rate. However, when you dilated the sinuses with a balloon and washed out the sinuses, the success rate went up to about 80-85%.”
Dr. Tran often treats children in her clinic and has seen very favorable results. “In my practice, I do see children who come in with sinus and nasal problems and those patients do very well with balloon sinuplasty,” she says. “The recovery is very quick, they don’t have a lot of pain, and their symptoms improve.”
For more information about balloon sinuplasty or sinus surgery, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll be happy to answer any of your questions and address your concerns.