Before any type of surgery, you most likely will have a number of questions about the procedure and what you can expect. You may have even more questions than usual about newer procedures, such as balloon sinuplasty, which are less invasive than other options. Understanding what happens during the surgery, how it can help you, and how long you’ll need to recover, can help you decide if it’s the right call for you.
Whom Is the Surgery For?
Balloon sinuplasty can be an appropriate surgery for you if you have chronic sinusitis that hasn’t responded well to other treatment options, such as corticosteroids or decongestants. Common signs of chronic sinusitis include pain and swelling around the nose and eye area, plus a thick discharge and trouble breathing through the nose. Your surgeon will evaluate your symptoms and your nose and help you decide if balloon sinuplasty or another option will provide the greatest relief. It’s also possible to combine balloon sinuplasty with other sinusitis treatments.
How Is It Different From Other Procedures?
The big difference between balloon sinuplasty and other sinus surgeries is that it is considerably less invasive. The surgery is performed endoscopically, meaning the doctor doesn’t need to make an incision into the nose or face. Traditional surgeries also involve cutting away bone and removing tissue in the sinuses, to open them up and improve airflow and drainage. The downside of cutting tissue is that it increases the risk for bleeding and infection.
During a balloon sinuplasty, no cuts are made. Instead, a catheter, with a tiny balloon on one end, is inserted into the nose and threaded up to the sinus. The balloon is gently inflated. The expansion of the balloon helps restructure the sinus cavity, opening it up and helping it drain. Although the sinus is reshaped, the surgery does no damage to the structure of it.
I Have a Latex Allergy. What Material Is the Balloon Made From?
The balloon used during the surgery is made of a plastic that doesn’t contain latex. The Food and Drug Administration approved the materials and devices used in the procedure in 2005.
Does the Surgery Provide Lasting Results?
Generally, the results from balloon sinuplasty last a long time. A study of more than 1,000 patients, conducted in 2008, found that 95 percent of patients had improved breathing and a reduction in sinus symptoms nine months after the procedure. Another 2008 study found that most patients were reporting an improvement in their symptoms two years after the surgery.
How long a patient’s results last depends in part on the type of sinusitis they are dealing with. Many people do not need an additional procedure, but some do need another procedure a few years after the first to maintain the results and to continue to enjoy an improved quality of life. If the sinusitis is progressive, another type of surgery might be required further down the road to improve or maintain results.
How Long Will I Need for Recovery?
Another advantage of balloon sinuplasty over more invasive procedures is that the recovery period and amount of downtime needed is much shorter. In many cases, people are able to get back to work, school or other activities within two days. Since no incisions are made, you won’t have to worry about scars or bleeding.
How Long Does the Surgery Take?
Generally, the procedure takes about an hour to perform. You’ll most likely be given a local anesthetic, which will numb the area, but won’t put you to sleep. If you prefer or if your surgeon recommends it, the procedure can be performed under general anesthesia, meaning you’ll be completely under during and won’t hear or feel a thing. If general anesthesia is used, the procedure is performed in a hospital, not in an office setting.
Chronic sinusitis can interfere with your daily life and make it difficult for you to do the things you love. If you have trouble breathing or are chronically congested, find out what you can do to treat your sinus symptoms today. Dr. Ran Y. Rubinstein specializes in the total nose approach. He can perform balloon sinuplasty or another sinus procedure that is best suited for your symptoms and features. To learn more about your options for nasal surgery, call 845-562-6673 today.