Do you remember the last time you were able to breathe freely through your nose? If not, you may be one of the many people who suffer from a sinus disorder that requires more involved treatment than a nasal spray or sinus medicine. Some of the signs that you may need to seek medical evaluation include: constant congestion, snoring, nasal polyps and frequent sinus infections.
When experienced regularly, these problems can drastically reduce the quality of your life, during both waking and sleeping hours. The good news is that there are ENT specialists in the Dallas/Fort Worth area that can evaluate you and recommend an advanced treatment, such as functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) or Balloon Sinuplasty – procedures that can eliminate your sinus problems and get you back to breathing freely once again.
In this blog, the sinus specialists at DFW Sinus Select will explain what functional endoscopic sinus surgery and Balloon Sinuplasty are and address when these treatments may be recommended.
What is functional endoscopic sinus surgery?
The sound of having a camera inserted through your nose and into your sinus cavity may sound a bit intimidating, but functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) is an advanced procedure that can be performed with short downtime. It involves a doctor inserting a tiny camera (called an endoscope) into your nasal passage after administering an anesthetic. This camera allows the surgeon to see what’s going on inside the nasal and sinus passages that may be preventing or hindering normal mucus drainage. Once the problem area is identified, specialized tools can be introduced to carefully and precisely correct the issues, effectively eliminating obstructions and improving drainage and breathing.
What is Balloon Sinuplasty?
With this minimally invasive sinus procedure, a tiny catheter with a balloon attached is inserted through your nostril and into your sinus passage. The balloon is then slowly inflated to gently widen the area and facilitate easier mucus drainage. The doctor then flushes out the sinus cavity to clear out any built-up mucus before deflating the balloon and removing it. Recovery is quick and easy because there is no need for any incisions during this procedure.
When would FESS or Balloon Sinuplasty be recommended?
The first course of action with any sinus problem is to use conservative treatment methods, such as antibiotics and nasal sprays. When the sinus problems keep returning, however, or when traditional treatments don’t work, functional endoscopic sinus surgery or Balloon Sinuplasty may be considered. After a thorough medical history is taken and your nasal passages are examined, your doctor will be able to identify whether you have a structural problem that is preventing or impeding proper drainage. Patients with problems such as chronic sinusitis, a deviated septum or nasal polyps may be good candidates for Balloon Sinuplasty or FESS.
How are FESS and Balloon Sinuplasty different?
The type of sinus procedure recommended for you will depend upon your unique needs. The two procedures differ in a few ways.
- Balloon Sinuplasty is typically performed right in the doctor’s office. FESS is usually performed as an outpatient procedure.
- FESS involves making incisions that are very precise in order to remove or minimize problematic bone or tissue within the nasal passages. Balloon Sinuplasty involves no cutting at all.
- Balloon Sinuplasty is used when simply enlarging a blocked sinus passage is sufficient. FESS is used to help correct more significant physical problems such as removing nasal polyps or correcting a deviated septum.
Both procedures are similar in that they are less invasive treatment options. The procedures themselves take less time to perform than traditional sinus surgeries and the methods allow for recovery times that are quick and often painless. In many cases, normal activity can resume within a few days to a week, depending on what type of procedure you undergo.
Learn more about your sinus procedure options in Dallas/Fort Worth
If you can’t remember the last time you were able to breathe deeply through your nose, it is time to contact one of our ten practice locations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area and have one of our sinus specialists evaluate you. If you are still unsure whether or not your particular condition may warrant advanced treatment, take our Sinus Evaluation Quiz to determine how your sinus condition is impacting your quality of life.
If you are ready to take the first step to a life free from sinus symptoms, contact DFW Sinus Select today or get started by requesting an appointment using the form right on this page.