If you have chronic and recurrent acute rhinosinusitis that does not improve despite prolonged medical treatment, a balloon sinuplasty may be beneficial. This procedure uses a small, inflatable balloon to open sinus passages, allowing them to drain. This FDA-approved technology has been available for inpatient use in the operating room since 2005, and has been performed in over 165,000 patients (over 300,000 sinuses) nationwide. While this procedure can be performed in the operating room using general anesthesia, we were the first practice in Raleigh to offer and perform this treatment in-office using local anesthesia.
When performed in the office, balloon sinuplasty (similar to a dental procedure) serves as an alternative to “sinus scraping” procedures. During a balloon sinuplasty, topical and local anesthetics are applied to the area while the patient is in a relaxed environment. The surgeon uses an endoscope and camera to visualize the sinuses and positions a lighted guide-wire into the sinus to be dilated. A small balloon catheter is then threaded over the wire and inflated for 5 to 10 seconds. The next sinus is then treated in the same fashion. If necessary, the sinus can simultaneously be irrigated with saline.
In addition, balloon sinuplasty:
- Is a safe procedure with low risk of complications
- Allows the patient to almost immediately return to regular activities
- Involves minimal bleeding
- Involves no tissue removal
- Involves no nasal packing
- Does not involve general anesthesia if performed in-office
- Usually eliminates the need for post-operative sinus cleanings to remove damaged tissue.
While there continues to be controversy regarding proper use and efficacy regarding balloon sinuplasty, the majority of studies indicate favorable results. The best studies show symptom improvement for 85% of patients at 2 years post-op with no serious adverse events. The American Rhinologic Society and the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery both currently have favorable position statements concerning this procedure.
Please visit the American Rhinologic Society Webpage for further information.
At Raleigh Capitol Sinus & Allergy Center, we offer comprehensive care for the nose and sinuses. If you are suffering from chronic or recurrent sinus problems and have not found adequate relief from medical therapy, you may be a candidate for balloon sinuplasty. For an appointment contact us.