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Who is a Good Candidate for Balloon Sinuplasty?

man with chronic sinusitisMillions of Americans deal with sinusitis every year, and in most cases, medications are used to treat this condition effectively, however, not all people experience relief after using medications. When other treatments don’t provide results, a balloon sinuplasty may offer the relief that you need. Here’s a closer look at sinusitis, what a balloon sinuplasty consists of, when it’s needed, and all the benefits this procedure has to offer.

Two Types of Sinusitis

Sinusitis occurs when the tissue lining of your sinuses becomes swollen or inflamed. When the sinuses are healthy, they’re filled with air. However, if they fill with fluid and become blocked, it’s possible for germs to grow, resulting in an infection. Some of the conditions that may cause sinusitis include the common cold, nasal polyps, a deviated septum, or allergic rhinitis.

It’s important to note that two different types of sinusitis exist: acute sinusitis and chronic sinusitis. Acute sinusitis usually lasts for less than four weeks, while chronic sinusitis lasts three months or longer.

With acute sinusitis, some of the symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty smelling
  • Facial pressure or pain
  • Congestion or coughing
  • Runny nose
  • Stuffy nose
  • Bad breath
  • Fever

Symptoms that often occur with chronic sinusitis include:

  • Pus found in your nasal cavity
  • Feeling of fullness or congestion in the face
  • Discolored postnasal drainage
  • Runny nose
  • Nasal blockage or obstruction
  • Fever
  • Bad breath
  • Headaches

While acute sinusitis usually responds well to treatment, chronic sinusitis may not respond to medications. Suffering from chronic sinusitis can be uncomfortable and can result in other health problems. In many cases, a balloon sinuplasty may offer an excellent way to treat chronic sinusitis effectively and relieve the unpleasant symptoms.

What is a Balloon Sinuplasty?

The balloon sinuplasty differs from traditional sinus surgery in that it does not require any removal of tissue and bone, and it requires no cutting. This procedure is performed using a flexible, small balloon catheter, which is used to help open sinus passageways that have become blocked. By opening these passageways, mucus that has built up in the sinuses can drain, reducing sinusitis symptoms.

Once the balloon is threaded into the sinus area, it’s inflated, widening and restructuring the sinus walls, while keeping the sinus lining intact. The balloon is then deflated and removed, which leaves the sinus passageway open, restoring the normal draining and functioning of the sinuses.

It is also possible to perform this endoscopic procedure in an outpatient setting. Since there’s no cutting or removal of tissue and bone, patients appreciate that they deal with less swelling, bruising, and pain after surgery. The recovery time is much faster than it is for an open sinus surgery, as well.

Benefits of Treatment

For patients who are dealing with chronic sinusitis, balloon sinuplasty may offer many benefits. This procedure is particularly beneficial for individuals who have had their chronic sinusitis problems diagnosed early. Most patients who undergo this procedure experience a significant relief from the symptoms they’ve been experiencing. Patients with the following symptoms often enjoy excellent relief:

  • Headaches that occur around the eye area
  • Chronic nasal issues
  • Chronic foul taste in the mouth or bad breath
  • Recurrent sinus infections that are unresponsive to medications
  • Problems breathing through the nose

Choosing this specific procedure to treat chronic sinusitis offers several benefits as well, since this procedure has been shown to be clinically effective and safe. Some of the benefits of going with a balloon sinuplasty include:

  • Typically, less bleeding and non-requirement of nasal packing, since no bone or issue removal generally occurs with this procedure
  • Lowered risk of infection and reduction of post-operative pain, since the procedure is minimally-invasive and requires no incisions
  • Ability to return to normal activities more quickly than with an open sinus surgery, although the recovery time of each patient will vary.

If you’re tired of suffering from the symptoms of chronic sinusitis, a balloon sinuplasty may be an excellent choice for you. Call today to make an appointment with a specialist who can help you decide if this procedure is the best treatment option to relieve your symptoms.

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