If you’ve been suffering from repeated or ongoing sinus infections, you may have tried several different treatments or medications to try to get relief. In some cases, your doctor may recommend a balloon sinuplasty procedure to help you get long-term relief and breathe easier.
In this blog, board-certified ear, nose, and throat specialist Dr. Cecil Yeung of Houston Sinus Surgery at the Yeung Institute helps you determine whether you may be a good candidate for balloon sinuplasty.
What is balloon sinuplasty?
This minimally invasive type of procedure is performed in order to help treat chronic sinusitis – sinus infection that lasts for more than 12 weeks despite attempts to treat it. It’s performed by an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor, and you’ll receive local or general anesthesia during the procedure.
Your doctor will insert a thin wire with a tiny light on the end into your sinus cavity. A very small, flexible balloon is then inserted, and it’s slowly inflated. This helps to gently restructure and expand the bones around your sinuses, and your doctor will also use a saline solution to rinse out pus, mucus, and irritants that have built up in your sinus passages.
The balloon is then deflated and carefully removed, leaving your sinuses cleared out and expanded.
Who is a good candidate for balloon sinuplasty?
Although this procedure isn’t right for everyone, it can help many people with sinus problems. This procedure can be used alone or in conjunction with another type of treatment when needed.
The following may make you a good candidate for balloon sinuplasty:
- You’ve had chronic or recurring sinus infections that haven’t responded well to medication.
- You’ve struggled with symptoms such as nasal congestion, coughing, headaches, and chronic bad breath due to sinus issues.
- Your sinusitis isn’t due to an underlying structural issue such as a deviated septum or nasal polyps. If it is, the anatomical problem should be corrected with another procedure.
What is the recovery time like?
The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, and you’ll probably be able to return to your normal activities within a day or two. You should avoid strenuous activity for a week and avoid blowing your nose in the first 24 hours. You might experience some bloody drainage, discharge, congestion, or fatigue, but you should be back to normal within a week.
What are the advantages of balloon sinuplasty?
The following are some of the advantages provided by this procedure:
- Effective in relieving symptoms
- No cutting – No incisions are made, and no bone or tissue is removed.
- Less pain when compared to “open” sinus surgery
- Lower risk of infection
- Less risk of complications
- Less bruising and swelling
- Very little downtime
If you’ve been suffering from ongoing sinus issues, make an appointment today for an evaluation with Houston Sinus Surgery at the Yeung Institute. Dr. Yeung is a top balloon sinuplasty doctor and will determine the cause of your sinusitis and recommend the most effective treatment to help you get the relief you need.