Balloon Sinuplasty

Balloon sinuplasty is a non-surgical option used to open and flush the sinus cavities. This minimally invasive procedure was approved by the FDA in 2005 and has since proven highly effective in treating chronic sinus problems without the need for traditional sinus surgery.

The ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialists at Sierra Nevada ENT are experts at diagnosing and treating sinus issues. Call today to schedule a consultation. We can explain what balloon sinuplasty is, how it works and determine if it is right for you.

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How Does Balloon Sinuplasty Help?

Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure. At Sierra Nevada ENT, we perform balloon sinuplasty procedures in our office under local anesthesia. It typically takes about two hours, including recovery time.

After numbing the inside of the nose, your doctor will insert a long, flexible tube with a light (called an endoscope) into your nostril. This light allows us to guide a small, specialized balloon to the appropriate location in the sinus passageways using state-of-the-art computer navigation(called “transillumination”). The balloon catheter is then inflated, gently opening the sinus passageways.

After the passageways are opened, our doctors use a saline solution to help irrigate the sinuses. When the catheter is removed, the passageways to the clear sinuses remain enlarged, allowing them to drain more effectively.

Balloon sinuplasty results are generally permanent. Several academic studies have found lasting and positive outcomes in approximately 95 percent of patients, including significant reduction in the frequency and severity of sinusitis symptoms.

Your Sierra Nevada ENT doctor will schedule several follow-up appointments over the course of the next year to examine the sinus passages, ensure the recovery process is on track and assess the resulting impacts to your health.

Relief From Several Symptoms

Balloon sinuplasty is a highly effective treatment for those who suffer from chronic sinusitis. Sinusitis occurs when the channels that allow mucus to drain from our sinus cavities through the nose become swollen and blocked. As a result, mucus fills up the sinus cavities along our forehead, eyes, nose and cheekbones.

Balloon sinuplasty gently widens these channels, allowing mucus to drain more effectively. This, in turn, relieves many of the common symptoms of sinusitis, including:

  • Nasal congestion and discharge–a stuffy or blocked nose, thick yellow or green discharge and/or post-nasal drip (drainage in the back of the throat)
  • Sinus headache–pain and pressure across the forehead, around the eyes and/or on the cheeks, which often worsens when bending forward
  • Sinus pain–pressure or fullness in the midface, facial swelling and/or an achy feeling in the teeth or upper jaw
  • Other issues–fatigue, reduced sense of taste or smell and/or halitosis (bad breath)

Occasional bouts of sinusitis are very common and tend to resolve on their own or with traditional medical interventions. Chronic sinusitis, on the other hand, lasts 12 weeks or longer, tends to recur frequently and doesn’t respond to antibiotics over the long term. When this is the case, balloon sinuplasty is often a good option.

Alternative to Surgery

Balloon sinuplasty is a safe, effective alternative to traditional sinus surgery. Traditional surgery is performed in an operating room under general anesthesia and removes bone and/or tissue in order to reduce obstructions and widen the sinus passageways. Patients may experience swelling, bruising and discomfort and should refrain from normal activities, including work, for a week. 

In contrast to traditional surgery, balloon sinuplasty is significantly quicker, less invasive and requires a much shorter recovery time. In fact, balloon sinuplasty could be compared to angioplasty, which uses a similar balloon catheter to open blocked coronary arteries and improve blood flow without the need for open heart surgery, except that nothing is left inside the nose.

Balloon sinuplasty is performed in our Sierra Nevada ENT office under local anesthetic. It is not painful, though patients may feel slight nasal pressure during the procedure. After the anesthetic wears off, some patients report that their sinuses feel slightly tender. This soreness can typically be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol).

Patients may also be congested and experience some colored or bloody drainage as the sinuses continue to drain. This typically improves rapidly over the course of several days. Sierra Nevada ENT will prescribe a medicated saline rinse for patients to use that helps flush remaining mucus and prevents infection.

Most patients find they can resume normal activities after 24 hours, though we recommend abstaining from strenuous activities for a week or two.

Balloon Sinuplasty From Trusted ENT Doctors

Sierra Nevada ENT is a physician-owned practice guided by our team of skilled and compassionate doctors. With locations in Reno, Carson City, Gardnerville and Fallon, we have been proudly serving the Northern Nevada area for over 25 years.

Balloon sinuplasty has helped many of our patients who suffer from chronic sinusitis find relief from their symptoms. Our medical staff specialize in diagnosing and treating sinus issues and can help determine if a balloon sinuplasty procedure is right for you.

Call to schedule an appointment at one of our four locations today.

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