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Ann McDaniel-Hall had to do something when the facial pain and excruciating
headaches became unbearable.
For years, she struggled with sinus problems. Although she was tired of
taking antibiotics, she was reluctant to have traditional surgery. During
a visit with her ear, nose and throat specialist
Jeffrey LaCour, MD, she learned of another option that changed her life: Balloon Sinuplasty™.
Drs. LaCour and
Toni Dennis regularly perform Balloon Sinuplasty™ at
North Oaks ENT & Allergy for patients like McDaniel-Hall who have chronic sinus conditions. Because
it’s less invasive than traditional surgery, the doctors recommend
it for those with mild to moderate sinus disease, which can include recurring
infections or frequent congestion and headaches that don’t respond
“Many patients with chronic sinusitis won’t respond to medication
as surgery may be their best option,” Dr. LaCour explains. “Traditional
surgery involves removal of bone and soft tissue from the blocked sinuses
and is suggested for those with significant disease. Patients with less
severe disease may benefit from Balloon Sinuplasty™ which does not
involve removal of bone. The sinus openings are dilated to help sinuses
drain. This is not the case with Balloon Sinuplasty™, which is much
During the procedure, a small, flexible balloon catheter is placed through
a nostril into the blocked sinus passageway. The balloon is then inflated
to gently restructure and open the passageway, restoring normal sinus
drainage and function – much like a heart surgeon opens blocked
arteries during a balloon angioplasty. Patients generally heal faster
and with less pain, bleeding, bruising or swelling. The risk of infection
also is lower.
“It’s less traumatic for the patient and has a good success
rate,” affirms Dr. Dennis, adding that the procedure is performed
under local anesthesia, often in the doctor’s office.
Depending on the condition of the patient’s sinuses, the process
takes about 15 to 45 minutes. While recovery times vary with each patient,
most can return to normal activities within 24 hours since there is no
cutting or bone removal.
Other advantages of Balloon Sinuplasty™ over traditional sinus surgery include:
- Safe and effective and can be used to treat children
- Minimal bleeding and less post-operative pain
- Can be used along with other sinus treatment options
- Does not limit future sinus treatment options.
Balloon Sinuplasty™ may be especially helpful to patients who have
their sinus problems diagnosed early.
“The ideal candidate is someone who takes antibiotics frequently
(more than 4-5 times per year) for sinus infections and whose symptoms
return quickly when they stop taking medication,” Dr. LaCour notes.
Drs. LaCour and Dennis agree that patients should be evaluated if they
- Recurring sinus infections
- Chronic bad breath and/or bad taste in the mouth
- Headaches in forehead or in cheeks
- Chronic nasal problems
- Difficulty breathing through the nose.