Dr. Daniel Slaughter of Austin, Texas was intimately involved in the development of the original prototype for the sinus balloon used for Balloon Sinuplasty. He also helped perform the study that made this therapy FDA approved. He pioneered the use of IV sedation in the office setting for his patients providing a superior level of comfort. As an Entellus Center of Excellence trainer, Dr. Slaughter lectures nationally on the use of this technology in advanced cases including the ability to correct septal deviation, nasal polyps, turbinate swelling, and fungal sinus infections while performing Balloon Sinuplasty. ENT physicians travel from all over the country to learn how to incorporate his techniques.
What is Sinusitis?
Sinusitis is an infection or inflammation of the sinuses. At optimal health, your sinus cavities that surround our eyes are normally filled with air. Secondary to allergies, bacterial infection, or anatomical issues such as a deviated septum, the natural sinus outflow tracts can become obstructed. The sinuses will become backed up with pressure and fluid and will produce many symptoms such as facial pressure, headache, congestion, fever, “brain fog”, fatigue, migraines, snoring, and cough.
What is Balloon Sinuplasty?
Balloon sinuplasty is a non-surgical procedure where a tiny sinus balloon is inserted in to the natural sinus outflow tracts. This balloon is then inflated to dilate this area. The balloon is then removed and the outflow tract is more capable of naturally draining. This procedure helps eliminate recurring sinus infections, chronic sinus infections, sinus headache and reduces congestion and snoring.
At Sinus and Snoring Specialists, we perform this procedure with the comfort and safety of IV sedation provided by a board certified anesthesiologist.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Balloon Sinuplasty
The ideal candidate for Balloon Sinuplasty are those who suffer from sinus complaints such as:
- Nasal blockage
- Post nasal drip
- Sinus pressure and headache
Benefits of Balloon Sinuplasty
Unlike traditional sinus surgery, balloon sinuplasty does not require any incisions, bone or tissue removal, or sutures. There are many benefits to choosing balloon sinuplasty over traditional surgery. These benefits include:
- No damage to surrounding tissue
- Short recovery time
- Reduced bleeding
- Absence of incisions or sutures
- Lack of serious complications
Balloon sinuplasty can even be used in cases of severe sinusitis, cases with polyps, and cases of previous failed surgery. In fact, balloon sinuplasty should always be the first choice over surgical therapy.
The Balloon Sinuplasty Procedure
Dr. Slaughter is able to perform this procedure in our state of the art office procedure room with the comfort of IV sedation as well as local anesthesia. This procedure involves the insertion of a small sinus balloon using a tiny telescope into the blocked natural outflow tracts of the sinus cavities. Before inflation, Dr. Slaughter first tests for proper placement of the balloon within the sinus cavity. This is done by illuminating an LED light attached to the balloon and sometimes using a 3D computer assistance program to confirm accurate placement. Dr. Slaughter then inflates the balloon to dilate the blocked outflow tracts. This allows the sinus to drain normally relieving the symptoms and the infection. Finally, he removes the balloon leaving no foreign material in the nose.
Dr. Slaughter is one of only a few sinus experts that has Fiogan 3 Dimensional Computer Assisted Navigation for Balloon Sinuplasty available for complex cases. This technology is usually only available in large hospitals. With this technology a sophisticated computer CT guidance system using an electromagnetic field, allows Dr. Slaughter to accurately place the balloon in cases that have altered anatomy, severe polyps, and severe infection.
How Does Non-Surgical Sinuplasty Work?
Can Children Get Balloon Sinuplasty?
Dr. Slaughter is one of the few physicians in the country that is able to perform balloon sinuplasty in office for the pediatric population. Pediatric balloon sinuplasty is a non-surgical procedure performed to correct chronic sinus infection in children. If your child has chronic or recurring sinus infections, chronic congestion, or chronic nasal drainage, they may benefit from pediatric balloon sinuplasty.
What Can Non-Surgical Sinuplasty Treat?
Balloon Sinuplasty offers a non-surgical therapy to open blocked sinus passage ways and relieve many sinus conditions including: chronic sinusitis, acute recurring sinusitis, chronic sinus pressure, snoring, obstructive sleep apnea and even migraine headache.
Balloon Sinuplasty Patient Review
Balloon sinuplasty recovery
The Balloon Sinuplasty procedure takes just minutes and patients are back to full speed without need for recovery or pain medicine in hours. There is no packing or foreign material placed in the nose and never any bruising or swelling that accompanies traditional sinus surgery.
Balloon Sinuplasty Vs. traditional sinus surgery
Balloon Sinuplasty is a non-surgical procedure with a very high success rate (97.5%) in resolving sinus conditions both in the short term and the long term. This procedure doesn’t require general anesthesia. There is essentially no real recovery.
In our state of the art office procedure room, we offer the best in comfort and safety. A board certified anesthesiologist provides IV sedation similar to that used in a colonoscopy. The patient is not aware of the procedure, feels no pain, and has no recollection of the procedure. Because it is not general anesthesia, they also wake up quickly and don’t suffer from the usual side effects such as a sore throat or nausea. Most patients are able to be driven home within 15 minutes of the procedure.
Sinus surgery is a different story altogether. It takes over an hour or more under general anesthesia at the hospital. Surgery is more painful, has a longer recovery, is higher risk, is more expensive, and offers a lower success rate. It also adds the risk of general anesthesia such as tooth injury, sore throat, nausea, and lung complications.
Costs are also much lower with Balloon Sinuplasty for most patients when compared with sinus surgery as it is office based and there is no hospital fee.
Balloon Sinuplasty Risks
The risks of Balloon Sinuplasty are extremely low as there is no surgery or wound to heal.
Sinus surgery on the other hand involves actually cutting out the nasal and sinus tissue. With sinus surgery there is much greater risk including severe bleeding, infection, eye and brain injury, and leakage of brain fluid.
Balloon Sinuplasty Controversy
It may surprise you to know that there is considerable disagreement among ENT doctors about many aspects of balloon sinuplasty. As our understanding of balloon sinuplasty is still growing and many studies have yet to be performed, each surgeon is ultimately advising from their own personal experience and training.
It is Dr. Slaughter’s opinion, based upon his extensive experience and the available studies, that balloon sinuplasty is indicated and helpful to treat many conditions including: chronic sinus infection, recurring sinus infection, sinus pressure coming from allergy exacerbation, sinus headache, migraines triggered by sinus pressure, snoring, and sleep apnea. To successfully use balloon sinuplasty to treat these conditions, he believes it frequently needs to be combined with complimentary procedures such as septoplasty, reduction of the turbinates, polyp removal, and soft palate procedures.
It is also Dr. Slaughter’s opinion, that since the sinuses are all connected, that all 6 sinus openings should be dilated each time this procedure is done. In his experience this makes the risk of recurrence much lower and the chance of success much higher.
In summary, balloon sinuplasty is an evolving field with differences of opinion among ENT doctors based on their experiences and personal philosophy. In Dr. Slaughter’s extensive experience this technology can have an important part to play in the resolution of many common ENT issues, with a high success rate, much less risk than traditional sinus surgery, and lasting results.
Schedule a consultation
If you have an interest in learning more about Balloon Sinuplasty, contact our office in Austin, TX today! Call 512.601.0303 to schedule a consultation with board certified ENT Specialist Dr. Daniel Slaughter.