Sinus pain is nothing to sneeze at. When your sinus cavities become inflamed by infection, allergies, or a particulate irritation, it can lead to misery – including headaches, fever, facial swelling, and pain or pressure in the nose, ears, and even your teeth.
There are ways to successfully treat and relieve occasional sinus pain. But when your sinuses no longer respond to over-the-counter medication, or when your sinusitis becomes chronic, your doctor may recommend a simple in-office procedure called balloon sinuplasty.
Similar to the way in which heart surgeons open blocked arteries with balloon angioplasty, ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctors open inflamed sinuses with balloon sinuplasty. This is a safe and effective procedure that is less invasive than traditional endoscopic sinus surgery in that it doesn’t require cutting of any tissues. In fact, you can stay awake during the procedure, as it requires local, not general, anesthesia. There is a bit of discomfort and pressure, but no pain per se.
Let’s talk about how balloon sinuplasty is performed, what it does for your breathing, and who you can talk to in order to find out more about achieving relief from your sinus issues.
How Does a Balloon Sinuplasty Work?
Using endoscopic visualization, the physician inserts a very thin catheter into the nostril and passes it into the affected sinus. To confirm access and correct placement, the doctor will introduce a flexible guide wire with a light functionality at the tip into the blocked sinus.
Once it is positioned properly in the sinus, the balloon is inflated. This dilates (opens) the sinus and allows the surrounding area to be remodeled.
After the procedure, the balloon is deflated and removed. If successful, the sinus will remain open and your sinus symptoms will be gone.
How Does It Compare to Other Types of Sinus Surgery?
Among the advantages of balloon sinuplasty over traditional rhinoplasty (nose surgery) is that there is less risk and fewer complications. There is very little downtime, and the procedure may not need to be repeated later in life if it is successful.
In terms of effectiveness, the majority of people who have undergone balloon sinuplasty have reported improvement in their quality of life and in their breathing. The instruments used in this procedure were approved by the FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration) in 2005, and thousands of patients have since been able to breathe easier and without pain.
Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctor in Austin, TX
The recovery time after balloon sinuplasty is typically fast, with most patients returning to normal activity within just one or two days. Patients often express how they feel a world of difference after the procedure, able to breathe normally again.
For more information about balloon sinuplasty and whether or not it’s right for you, schedule a consultation with an experienced ENT doctor today. Contact the friendly staff at Georgetown ENT by calling us at (512) 869-0604 or by filling out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to helping you have clear breathing again!