Do you have perpetually blocked sinuses? Are you tired of not being able to breathe through your nose? Are you constantly at the doctor’s office for chronic sinusitis?
If so, you may have considered a sinus operation to unblock your sinuses and get some relief. But did you know there’s another (much less invasive) option? It’s called a balloon sinuplasty.
What is a balloon sinuplasty, exactly? How does the procedure work? And how do you know if it’s the right option for you?
Keep reading for the answers!
What Is a Balloon Sinuplasty?
Have you heard of an angioplasty, where doctors use tiny catheter balloons to dilate blood vessels around the heart? A balloon sinuplasty is a very similar procedure, except it’s in your sinus passages.
Although it’s considered a type of nasal surgery, there’s no cutting required. While you’re under local or general anesthesia, the doctor places a small balloon catheter into each of your blocked sinus passages. Then the doctor will slowly inflate the balloon, creating a tiny fracture that opens more space.
With this extra space, your sinuses can be drained, flushed, and cleaned out. You’ll also have more space in each passage after the procedure, allowing you to breathe easier.
Is It a Safe Procedure?
Balloon sinuplasty first gained traction in the mid-2000s, and it shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. In fact, it’s become the go-to choice for sinus surgery because of its high success rate and low risk of complications.
The procedure requires no cutting, stitches, or sutures, which greatly reduces the risk of bleeding. There’s also no need to remove any affected bone, cartilage, or other soft tissues.
What is balloon sinuplasty recovery like? Most people can return to their normal activities within 24 hours of the surgery. Side effects include minor swelling and tenderness in the sinus area, along with sinus drainage for a few days.
Your doctor may recommend that you sleep with your head elevated and avoid blowing your nose for the first week or two after the surgery.
Does It Really Work to Unblock Sinuses?
Yes! Many studies show incredibly positive results after balloon sinuplasty.
In a 2013 study, all participants reported “dramatically improved” symptoms within a week of their surgery. Better yet, they were still symptom-free for their follow-ups a year later.
A more recent study from 2017 followed 30 children who received balloon sinuplasty to treat chronic sinusitis. The results were 94% positive and the results remained a full year following the procedures.
Other studies report similar findings, including better sleep and improved quality of life.
Is Balloon Sinuplasty Right for You?
So, what is a balloon sinuplasty? It’s a popular alternative to a sinus operation with less risk and a much shorter recovery time.
If you’re ready to say goodbye to blocked sinuses for good, talk to your doctor and ask if this procedure could be right for you.
A blocked sinus isn’t the only topic on the table today. Keep browsing our site for more interesting articles like this one!