More than 30 million Americans suffer from chronic sinusitis, which can cause annoying and widespread symptoms for months on end. For some patients, balloon sinuplasty can provide effective relief.
In this blog, the ear, nose, and throat physicians at DFW Sinus Select will explain what’s involved with balloon sinuplasty and when it should be considered.
What is a Balloon Sinuplasty?
Balloon Sinuplasty is a minimally invasive procedure performed by ear, nose, and throat specialists (otolaryngologists). It can be used in patients who have chronic sinusitis (sinus infections that last for at least 12 weeks and aren’t responding to attempts at treatment) or in patients who have had four or more sinus infections in a year.
During this procedure, an ENT doctor opens your clogged sinuses by inflating and removing a thin balloon.
What symptoms warrant a Balloon Sinuplasty?
Chronic sinusitis can cause a long list of symptoms that affect your overall quality of life. Ongoing symptoms can include the following:
- Thick yellowish or greenish discharge from your nose
- A noticeable sensation of mucus draining down the back of your throat (post-nasal drip)
- Difficulty breathing through your nose
- Pain, tenderness, and swelling in your face
- Impaired sense of smell or taste
- Ear pain
- Pain in your upper jaw and teeth
- Sore throat
- Bad breath
- Coughing, especially at night
- General feeling of fatigue
When is a Balloon Sinuplasty considered?
Your doctor can confirm a diagnosis of chronic sinusitis by feeling for tenderness in your nose and face and examining the inside of your nose. Additional tests such as nasal and sinus cultures or imaging studies such as a CT scan or MRI can help give your doctor more information about your chronic sinusitis as well as its cause. He or she will also talk to you about your medical history, including the types of treatments you’ve tried and for how long.
A balloon sinuplasty may be recommended if you have chronic sinusitis symptoms that aren’t being helped enough by non-invasive treatments such as medication. You may have tried saline nasal irrigation, corticosteroids, or antibiotics (for sinusitis caused by bacteria). If your sinusitis is caused by allergies, your doctor may also try immunotherapy (small amounts of the allergen used to build up your body’s tolerance). If these types of treatments haven’t given you enough relief, your doctor may then recommend balloon sinuplasty.
What is involved in a Balloon Sinuplasty?
This minimally invasive procedure is done through the nose without any cutting. A balloon catheter is inserted into your sinuses, and the thin balloon is then gently inflated. It works similar to the way a heart surgeon uses a balloon to open up clogged arteries during an angioplasty.
The balloon expands the sinus opening and allows your doctor to use saline to flush out pus and mucus that has built up. It’s then carefully removed, leaving your sinuses more open and clear. No bone or tissue is cut, and recovery time is usually fast and easy. Most patients are able to resume their normal activities in just a day or two.
Where can I get a Balloon Sinuplasty done in the Dallas/Fort Worth area?
DFW Sinus Select is dedicated to the care, diagnosis, and treatment of disorders related to the nose and sinuses. Our doctors are board-certified ENTs who offer the latest, most effective treatments, including balloon sinuplasty. Our practice emphasizes compassionate, patient-centered care, and we have 10 convenient locations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to serve you.
If you have symptoms associated with chronic sinusitis, schedule an appointment today with DFW Sinus Select. We’ll accurately diagnosis your condition, as well as its cause and, will recommend the least invasive, best available treatment to help you get relief.