Balloon Sinuplasty When Medical Therapy Isn’t Enough
- Posted on: May 12 2020
A little background about the sinuses –
The sinuses are actually called the “paranasal” sinuses, meaning “around the nose cavities”. These hollow cavities surround the nose and have a thin lining that produces liquid. This liquid then moves by directional ciliary flow (often against gravity) to small natural pathways that enter into the nose.
The main purpose of the paranasal sinuses is to provide this liquid and keep the lining of the nose moist. Breathing air through a moist nose provides humidification, filtration, and warming of the air. This conditioning of the air, makes the air better suited for the upper airway without drying of the throat and also enhances oxygen exchange in the lungs.
When all things are open and functioning well with our paranasal sinuses, we never know they are there. If the natural outflow tract that allows them to drain into the nose becomes blocked from a deviated septum, allergies, viruses, bacterial infection, polyps, and other causes, there is a back up of liquid in the sinuses with bacterial contamination. This produces sinus pressure, headache, facial pain, tooth pain, pressure around the eyes, swelling in the nose with congestion, and generally feeling sick. This can be an acute sinus infection or become a long-standing chronic sinus infection with the patient unaware that it is present.
The patient with the chronic sinus infection typically won’t complain of a sinus infection but may report snoring, sleep apnea, hoarseness, cough, throat clearing, ear pressure, along with other issues.
Acute and chronic sinus infections are treated with medical therapy such as antibiotics, decongestants, allergy medications, steroids, and saline washes. In most cases, this will clear the infection and symptoms.
In some cases, the infection will fail to clear despite significant medical therapy and we need to have an answer to that problem. For years the answer was sinus surgery. This invasive procedure removed the bone that made up the natural sinus outflow tract. There was pain, bleeding, long healing, and frequently a poor result.
Balloon sinuplasty was created as a non-surgical alternative to resolve this issue. In our office, under IV sedation, the natural sinus outflow tract is dilated open using the sinus balloon. The infection in the sinus cavities is vacuumed out. The sinus cavities can be washed with an antibiotic solution. And any predisposing anatomical issues (such as a deviated septum) can also be simultaneously corrected. This procedure takes about 15 minutes and has very little if any discomfort. Most patients can work the next day. Balloon sinuplasty has a 98% success rate longterm as well.
Schedule A Consultation
If you have chronic sinus issues, nasal congestion issues, snoring and/or sleep apnea issues come for an evaluation to see if balloon sinuplasty may be the right option for you.