Sinusitis is one of the most common chronic health problems in the Unites States, affecting 37 million Americans each year. Flagler Hospital's Sinus Center provides comprehensive care for diseases and ailments of the nasal sinuses. Our physicians are experts in utilizing the latest in minimally invasive techniques to bring relief to sinus sufferers, including performing Balloon Sinuplasty™ -an innovative procedure used for the treatment of chronic sinusitis.
What is Balloon Sinuplasty?
An endoscopic procedure performed under general anesthesia in an outpatient setting, balloon sinuplasty does not require incisions and cutting or the removal of bone and tissue. There is generally less pain, risk of infection, blood loss, bruising and swelling and many patients are often able to return to their normal activities in less time than they would from traditional "open" sinus surgery.
Patients with the following symptoms may benefit from the procedure:
- Recurrent sinus infections that do not respond to medication
- Headaches around the eyes
- Chronic bad breath and/or foul taste in the mouth
- Difficulty breathing through the nose
- Chronic nasal problems
Under general anesthesia, a physician inserts a guide wire catheter equipped with a tiny balloon through the nostril in order to gain access to the blocked sinus passageway and the balloon is inflated, gently opening and widening the sinus passageway. The balloon is then deflated and withdrawn leaving an open sinus passageway thus restoring normal sinus drainage and function.
Benefits of Balloon Sinuplasty
Although there are risks associated with any surgery, balloon sinuplasty has been shown to be clinically safe and effective. Some benefits include:
- Since the device is inserted gently into the nostrils, there is no cutting or incisions (minimally invasive). Therefore, the procedure generally results in less pain, bleeding, bruising, swelling and risk of infection
- Balloon sinuplasty typically involves no tissue or bone removal, often resulting in less bleeding. Nasal packing may not be needed
- While recovery times may vary, most patients are able to return to normal activities in less time than with traditional surgery