Balloon Sinuplasty


When you suffer from chronic sinus pain that’s resisted standard treatment options such as antibiotics, advanced sinus treatments such as balloon sinuplasty may be the answer. Visit Excel ENT for a comprehensive evaluation to determine treatment options.

The Problem

sinus infection graphic

Inflammation irritates the sinus cavity, followed by swelling and congestion that can lead to chronic sinus pain.

The Solution

ballon sunuplasty - Excel ENT of Alabama

Position

Excel ENT’s specialists use a catheter to precisely place a tiny balloon into the sinus cavity.

ballon sinuplasty - Excel ENT of Alabama

Balloon Sinus Dilation

Once properly positioned, the balloon is carefully inflated, enlarging the sinus opening and restoring airflow. The balloon is then deflated and removed.

sinus pressure icon, Balloon Sinuplasty

Immediate Sinus Relief

Balloon Sinuplasty provides immediate, long-lasting relief from chronic sinus pain.

Relieve Chronic Sinus Pain Now!

Balloon sinuplasty, a groundbreaking treatment for chronic, recurrent sinusitis, is performed in the Excel ENT office. We administer a local anesthetic, then the surgeon inserts a small catheter tipped with a balloon through the sinus opening and, when it’s in place, slowly fills the balloon with water. This opens up blocked sinuses and allows them to drain, providing immediate pain relief. Balloon sinuplasty is for the most part painless, and most patients resume their regular schedules the next day.

Is Balloon Sinuplasty for Me?

If you suffer from chronic sinusitis that’s resisted antibiotics, steroids, and other sinus treatments, balloon sinuplasty may be the answer. Balloon sinuplasty is ideal for patients with bony obstruction rather than blockage that’s due to tissue swelling. In order to decide whether this treatment is right for you, Excel ENT’s practitioners will perform a sinus CT scan to assess the root cause of your pain.

The image to the right shows a sinus CT scan of a 71-year-old man with chronic right maxillary sinusitis. *Mucous membrane swelling is the same or worse after a month of antibiotics (first image). Sinus disease is completely resolved a few months after balloon dilation of the sinus opening (right side image with white arrow pointing to sinus opening)

Balloon Sinuplasty - Execel ENT of Alabama

What Happens During the Procedure?

Prior to inserting the catheter and balloon we will apply a decongestant and numbing agent, which we’ll follow with more medication delivered via a cotton ball near your sinuses. Often this initial anesthesia is supplemented with more local anesthetic injected with a fine needle. Once the area is numb, the surgeon will insert an endoscope, examine your sinus opening, then carefully position the catheter with the balloon. Upon inflation you will feel pressure and may hear a small pop or soft cracking sound. The balloon remains inflated for five to ten seconds, then is deflated and removed.

Do Patients Need to Be Awake During Balloon Sinuplasty?

Some patients suffer anxiety, have complicated anatomy, or aren’t completely covered by insurance. Dr. Davis uses the Outpatient Surgery Center for patients requiring general anesthesia, but if you feel you don’t need anesthetic we can reduce your anxiety with oral Valium. Both oral sedation and general anesthetic affect your ability to drive, so please arrange to have someone accompany you to your appointment and drive you home.

Will Nasal Packing Be Required?

Balloon sinuplasty generally causes some light bleeding, but nasal packing is rarely necessary. 

How Long Does it Take to Recover?

The majority of balloon sinuplasty patients are able to leave the office ten to fifteen minutes after the procedure and return to their normal schedules the next day. We do, however, request that patients refrain from blowing their noses for one week. Compared to endoscopic sinus surgery, Balloon sinuplasty allows patients to take less pain medication and resume everyday activity more quickly.

Is Balloon Sinuplasty a Long-Term Solution?

Balloon dilation has been shown to last at least one to two years in the vast majority (90-95%) of patients, which puts it on par with or better than endoscopic sinus surgery. A large number of clinical trials support balloon sinuplasty as a long-term solution, and we expect long-term or even permanent relief from symptoms.

Are There Risks?

Any office nasal procedure can result in pain and/or nosebleeds, and anesthesia can lead to light-headedness, fainting, or fast heartbeat. Due to the delicate composition of the bones that separate the sinuses from the eyes and brain, sinus surgery can, in extreme cases, lead to injury resulting in meningitis, spinal fluid leak, and blindness. However, major complications resulting from balloon sinuplasty are so uncommon that there is very little data to use for comparison.

Will Balloon Sinuplasty Be Covered by My Insurance?

Despite evidence showing that balloon sinuplasty is a better treatment than endoscopic sinus surgery for some patients, some insurance companies consider the procedure to be experimental and as such don’t include it as a covered procedure. If you’re a good candidate for balloon dilation but don’t have insurance coverage, Excel ENT can work with you to establish cash payment options.