Safe and Effective Balloon Sinuplasty Can Alleviate Chronic Sinus Pressure
When a sinus infection is chronic, medical intervention is necessary to drain the nasal passages. In such cases, our doctors at Chesapeake Ear Nose & Throat in Baltimore, MD offer balloon sinuplasty to alleviate pressure built up within the paranasal sinuses. This advanced and minimally invasive technique provides relief of symptoms to permanently improve your nasal breathing when you haven’t responded well to medications, such as antihistamines, steroids, and decongestants. Dr. Michael D. Weiss and all the doctors at our practice are skilled in this procedure, and will work proficiently to protect your health and safety while also achieving fast, optimal results.
What is a Sinus Infection?
Your paranasal cavities are air-filled spaces positioned around the eyes, nasal passageway, cheeks, and forehead. Below is the exact location:
· Maxillary Sinus: Located behind your cheekbones.
· Ethmoid Sinus: Located on either side of the nasal bridge, near the inside corner of each eye.
· Frontal Sinus: Located within the forehead above each eye and the bridge of your nose.
· Sphenoid: Located behind the ethmoid sinuses.
When your sinuses are functioning properly, mucus is produced and drained throughout your sinus cavities to keep your nasal passages and throat moist for easy air flow. If your sinus cavities become inflamed and infected, it can lead to an acute or chronic sinus infection. Acute sinus infections are generally caused by allergies or a common cold and will last anywhere from two to eight weeks. Chronic sinus infections are generally caused by a deviated septum, fungal buildup, or nasal polyps. Side effects of both include difficulty breathing through your nose, reduced sense of smell, nasal pain, and recurrent nasal discharge.
What is Balloon Sinuplasty?
When a sinus infection lasts longer than two months and you have not responded well to medications, Dr. Weiss and the team may recommend balloon sinuplasty to help alleviate your symptoms. As a less invasive approach to sinus surgery, during this outpatient procedure a tube is inserted into the nasal passages and gently inflated to widen the sinus openings in order to drain the blocked nasal cavities.
Compared to sinus surgery, balloon sinuplasty is a much quicker and minimally invasive procedure that does not require bone or tissue removal.
Approved by the FDA in 2005, this procedure provides long-term results and generally does not require additional treatment. Before undergoing the procedure, one of our doctors will administer a detailed examination with x-rays to locate the blocked cavity. He or she will discuss the procedure in detail, answering any questions you may have.
Steps Involved During Balloon Sinuplasty
Balloon sinuplasty can generally be completed in one to two hours and patients are able to return home the same day. Below are the basic steps involved:
Step 1: Gain Access to the Sinus
Your doctor will first administer anesthesia to ensure you are as comfortable as possible throughout the procedure. Once you are fully prepared, the doctor will then insert a small balloon catheter through your nose. Using endoscopic visualization, they will guide the catheter through your sinus passages, targeting the blocked area.
Step 2: Remove Balloon and Irrigate Sinus
Once the blocked sinuses are reached, the doctor will gradually inflate the balloon to open the passageway. The surrounding bone is restructured and widened to allow for easier drainage. The balloon will maintain the integrity of your sinus lining, creating as minimal an impact as possible.
Step 3: Remove Balloon and Irrigate Sinuses
After opening the passageway to the proper width, the balloon is deflated and removed. Your doctor will then insert an irrigation catheter to flush out mucus buildup and infection. The solution can also help your sinuses fully drain.
Step 4: Remove System
Finally, the irrigation catheter is removed, leaving the passageway open and clear to allow the return of normal sinus drainage and nasal breathing. Because there are no incisions placed or tissue removed, you will not require special packing and wound care.
Benefits of Balloon Sinuplasty
Compared to sinus surgery, balloon sinuplasty is a much quicker and minimally invasive procedure that does not require bone or tissue removal. It produces effective results and a faster recovery, and in most cases, patients can return to normal activity within 24 to 48 hours. Once the procedure is completed, patients are able to enjoy:
· Easier nasal breathing
· Improved quality of life
· Returned sense of smell and taste
Improve Your Breathing
If you are struggling to breathe through your nose and feel like everything you’ve tried has been unsuccessful, our doctors at Chesapeake Ear Nose & Throat can provide the help you need through balloon sinuplasty. Contact us online or at (410) 356-2626 to schedule your consultation.