Balloon sinuplasty represents an advancement in the treatment of chronic sinus inflammation (sinusitis). The procedure — adapted from angioplasty — involves using a medical balloon to open up the sinuses.
Our team of specialists at Southern ENT in southern Louisiana offers this innovative treatment as an alternative to traditional sinus surgery. If you’re considering or scheduled for balloon sinuplasty, knowing what to expect can help you feel at ease about having this safe and effective procedure.
Chronic sinusitis is a long-term sinus inflammation. The sinuses are moist air spaces behind the upper bones of your face, between your eyes and behind your forehead, nose, and cheeks. Normally, the sinuses drain into your nose through small holes.
Anything that obstructs or narrows that flow can lead to a buildup of mucus and problems breathing.
Respiratory allergies to dust, mold, and pollen are a common cause of sinusitis. These allergies trigger the release of histamine and other chemicals, causing the inner lining of your nose to swell and obstruct sinus outflow.
Structural problems, such as deviated septum can also cause chronic sinus inflammation. When there’s an underlying cause, addressing it can help prevent a return of symptoms after a successful balloon sinuplasty.
Chronic sinusitis is more common in people who have asthma, cystic fibrosis, or immune system disorders.
Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that requires no incisions. Instead, we pass an endoscope — a specialized, adjustable tube with a camera at the end — through a nostril to the sinus.
We place the surgical balloon in the narrowed sinus and inflate it to open up your sinuses before carefully removing it.
Recovery from balloon sinuplasty typically takes a few days. Most people can go home within a few hours of having the procedure and can resume most normal activities within 24-48 hours.
It’s important to maintain nasal hygiene with saline rinses for a few days following the procedure. Saline rinses help remove mucus and debris from your nose throughout the healing process, preventing infection and scarring.
In the week following the procedure, you can expect to have some congestion and bloody discharge. It’s also normal to feel groggy. Follow your post-procedure instructions, which may prohibit you from blowing your nose for a day or two following the procedure.
We may also advise you to avoid strenuous activity for at least a week after sinuplasty. Many people find that sleeping or resting with their head and neck elevated promotes drainage.
Balloon sinuplasty is very effective. Most patients experience significant relief from symptoms of chronic sinusitis.
Balloon sinuplasty isn’t right for everyone. Ideal candidates for balloon sinuplasty have mild sinusitis that affects a specific area in the sinuses. This procedure is not the right option for patients who have nasal polyps.
Children who have not responded to other treatments for sinusitis may be candidates for balloon sinuplasty in select circumstances. Most of the time this procedure is performed on adults.
If balloon sinuplasty is not the correct procedure for you, you may be a candidate for endoscopic sinus surgery, a minimally invasive outpatient surgical procedure that we also use to treat sinusitis. After a thorough evaluation, we discuss the right treatment for you.
If standard sinusitis treatments have failed to bring adequate relief, talk to our team to find out if you’re a candidate for balloon sinuplasty.
Our offices are located in Thibodaux, Houma, Raceland, Morgan City, New Iberia, and Youngsville, Louisiana. Call the office nearest you so our scheduling coordinator can assist you in setting up a visit with a Southern ENT provider today.