Balloon Sinuplasty

We are excited to introduce our patients to the newest innovative treatment for patients who suffer from chronic sinus headaches, recurrent episodes of sinusitis, facial pain/pressure, and chronic congestion.

Q: What is sinusitis?

It is the inflammation of the air filled cavities in the face. There are 4 sets: In your forehead, between your eyes, behind your eyes and behind your cheek bones. They are normally air filled. They produce mucous – 1 liter of mucous is made each day. It drains from your sinuses travels through the nose and you swallow it. It is a self cleaning system. If there is blockage of the outflow then the conditions become more favorable for bacteria or viruses or fungus to enter the sinus cause swelling which leads to infection.

Q: Medical problems such as diabetes and obesity are a growing problem in the country. How does sinusitis affect Americans?

Sinusitis is one of the most common diagnoses made in the US. There are 44 million cases of acute sinusitis and 33 million cases of chronic sinusitis reported each year in the US. When you add it to cases of closely associated conditions such as asthma, allergic rhinitis, and chronic bronchitis 1 out of 3 Americans is affected every year.

Healthcare costs are now a major concern. Can you put the cost of sinusitis into perspective?

The Centers for disease control estimated that it costs 61.2 million lost work days per year. 5.8 billion dollars a year is spent on treating sinusitis.

Q: What are the symptoms of sinusitis?

The most common symptoms are headache, facial pressure, nasal congestion and discolored nasal drainage. There are also subtle symptoms such as chronic bad breath, upper tooth pain, fatigue, difficulty concentrating and or sleeping, and change in vision. It can also trigger migraine headaches.

Q: What are the treatments for sinusitis?

Traditional treatments include taking over the counter medications such antihistamines and decongestants for mild symptoms. For severe symptoms, antibiotics and sometimes steroids are added. For patients with recurrent symptoms that have not responded to medical management surgery has been the treatment of choice.

Q: What is the difference between standard sinus surgery and balloon sinuplasty?

Endoscopic sinus surgery involves taking the patient to the operating room. It is performed under general anesthesia. Although it is minimally invasive, it does involve changing the anatomy by removing tissue to facilitate drainage.

Balloon sinuplasty is a safe effective office procedure that has the advantage of preserving the patients’ anatomy. It works like angioplasty, but instead of using a balloon to open blocked vessels in the heart, the balloon is used to open narrow or blocked sinus openings to facilitate drainage.

Q: What is the recovery time?

The patient is able to return to work the next day, there is no nasal packing and it is done under local anesthesia.

Q: How has this changed your practice?

I am a proponent of treating the problem and not the symptom. Balloon sinuplasty has given me the power to effectively resolve complaints of chronic headaches, facial pressure, nasal congestion and persistent sinus symptoms that have not responded to standard treatments without having to take the patient to the operating room.

Q: How does the patient benefit from balloon sinuplasty?

I have found that my patients have stopped needing daily medication and they are pain free at a fraction of the time it would take to recover from endoscopic surgery and at a fraction of the cost. It is a win win for the patient.

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