Having chronic sinus issues can lead you to consider your options in treatment. That familiar pain that hits you between the eyes or around your cheekbones can start to take its toll on you.
Whether you’re getting advice from your ENT (ear, nose, and throat doctor) or your primary care physician, you start to consider whether surgery or another sinus procedure might help improve your breathing, overall sinus congestion, and quality of life.
What Does Balloon Sinuplasty Do?
Balloon sinuplasty is an endoscopic procedure that is minimally invasive and helps clear the blockage in your sinus cavity. It works very similarly to how a surgeon can insert a balloon into the heart to help clear a blockage there. (These are tiny, thin balloons, not balloons the way we think of them.)
The uninflated balloon device is inserted through your nostrils and into your sinuses. The doctor then works the device into your sinus cavity and expands the balloon, clearing out mucus and blockage.
Sinuplasty vs. Surgery
In the past, sinus surgery was the only option to help clear any potential blockages or to help improve the function of your sinuses. However, balloon sinuplasty may be just as effective as traditional sinus surgery while also minimizing your recovery time.
With traditional sinus surgery, your doctor would have to remove – and thereby damage – healthy bone and tissue surrounding your sinuses in order to access the sinuses and clear them. This could leave you with scarring and a lengthy recovery time after the significant surgery.
In comparison, balloon sinuplasty requires just a quick one- to two-day recovery time. Plus, sinuplasty can be performed at your own ENT’s medical offices in one afternoon, as an outpatient procedure.
Both sinuplasty and traditional surgery will still require you to go under anesthesia and will require some downtime afterward.
Who Cannot Have Balloon Sinuplasty?
One of the most important factors your doctor will consider are the chances of recurrence after you are treated with balloon sinuplasty. Traditional sinus surgery, while more invasive, offers patients a reduced chance of recurrence of sinusitis symptoms. Those who have had a balloon sinuplasty can see symptoms again in as little as six months.
Patients who have a deviated septum or polyps in their nasal cavities would not be good candidates for a balloon sinuplasty, as a traditional sinus surgery is needed to correct those issues.
Who Can Help My Sinus Problems?
If you are considering having either traditional sinus surgery or the newer balloon sinuplasty, discuss your options with a caring, board-certified otolaryngologist (i.e., ear, nose, and throat doctor).
Call us today at the Nasal & Sinus Center of Austin to schedule an appointment at one of our two convenient locations. Our Austin office can be reached at (512) 379-5937, and our Lakeway location can be reached at (512) 271-4371.
You can also fill out our easy-to-use online appointment request form right now to get started. We look forward to serving you, and helping you “breathe easy” again!