Balloon Sinuplasty, or the smart sinus procedure, is a surgical sinus procedure that requires no cutting nor the removal of bone or soft tissue. Instead, Balloon Sinuplasty opens up blocked sinus passageways with a small, flexible balloon catheter. This tiny balloon catheter allows the mucus buildup associated with chronic sinusitis to be flushed out with saline, leaving the sinuses open. The balloon catheter also permanently widens the sinus passageway, allowing for optimal function.
Did You Know?
Balloon Sinuplasty was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2005 and since then over 535,000 individuals with chronic sinusitis symptoms have been treated by ENT doctors with Balloon Sinuplasty. For 95% of patients, Balloon Sinuplasty improves symptoms for an average of 9 months, however some individuals have reported improved symptoms lasting up to 2 years.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Am I a candidate for Balloon Sinuplasty?
You may be a candidate for Balloon Sinuplasty if you have been experiencing chronic sinusitis symptoms including: nasal or postnasal discharge, nasal obstruction or congestion, decreased ability to smell or taste, and pain, tenderness, or swelling around the eyes, cheeks, nose, or forehead. Additionally, you may be a candidate for Balloon Sinuplasty if you have acute rhinosinusitis, or recurrent inflammation of the sinuses and nasal cavity. To find out if Balloon Sinuplasty is right for you, schedule a consultation with your doctor today!
What should I expect when receiving Balloon Sinuplasty?
Most Balloon Sinuplasty procedures can be performed in a doctor’s office under local anesthesia. However, some Balloon Sinuplasty procedures may be performed at a hospital under general anesthesia. Once you have been made comfortable, a small flashlight and balloon catheter will be inserted up your nostril. The balloon catheter will be delivered to the sinus pathway and then inflated. The inflation of the balloon catheter will expand the sinus passageway, allowing the mucus to drain and permanently opening the passageway. The sinus cavities will then be flushed with saline to ensure all the mucus has been drained. If local anesthetic is used and you are conscious, you may feel a release in pressure at this time. If general anesthesia is used, you will be completely unconscious. After flushing the sinus cavity, the balloon catheter will be removed. The exact procedure time can vary, but the average procedure time is about 73 minutes.
What can I expect after receiving Balloon Sinuplasty?
After your Balloon Sinuplasty, you will want to relax and may feel groggy from the anesthesia, especially if general anesthesia was used. You will need to avoid elevating your heart rate and blowing your nose for at least the first 24 hours following your procedure. Most patients return to work and other usual activities within as little as two days after the procedure. After the procedure, you will likely notice that your sinuses feel free of pressure.
For the first week after surgery, you may experience nasal drainage and possibly bloody discharge, which is normal. Additionally, you may experience swelling, fatigue, and nasal congestion. These symptoms are all completely normal and will usually fade about 5-7 days after your procedure.
Sleep apnea is a dangerous sleep disorder that interferes with healthy breathing patterns during sleep. It is characterized by snoring, which may be so loud that it affects the sleep quality of bed partners. Having sleep apnea can put a strain on relationships, cause daytime fatigue, and even lead to other secondary conditions like depression. Worse, severe cases of sleep apnea can be life threatening.
Though snoring is a primary symptom of sleep apnea, not all people who snore actually have sleep apnea. As much as 50 percent of Americans snore at some time, whether occasionally or chronically. However, only 20 percent of American adults have sleep apnea. So how do you know the difference? Harmless snoring does not interfere with breathing patterns. Sleep apnea, on the other hand, causes breathing cessations and sometimes ‘gasping’ during sleep.
You may need to see a doctor if you or your partner have been awakened by your chronic snoring and/or gasping for air. Though this condition can be very dangerous, your doctor can help you discover ways of managing sleep apnea and protecting healthy breathing during sleep.
Your doctor’s first goal will be to determine whether your snoring is benign or a symptom of sleep apnea. This may be determined by speaking with you and your partner about your symptoms. If you do not have a partner who can confirm snoring or breathing interruptions, your doctor may request a sleep study.
There are many ways of treating the symptoms of sleep apnea. This may include conservative approaches, such as a new sleeping position or the use of an oral appliance. If your apnea symptoms are severe or conservative treatments are not working, you may be prescribed a continuous positive airway pressure device (CPAP) to open the airway. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary. Keep in mind that a diagnosis of sleep apnea is not always permanent. Many patients find that losing weight can be an effective way of opening the airway during sleep.