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Balloon Sinuplasty 101

What is sinusitis?

Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinus lining. If it becomes blocked due to the swelling, normal mucus drainage may not occur, leading to sinus infections and other symptoms. When sinus symptoms last more than 12 weeks, seek an ENT doctor for a diagnosis.

What are common symptoms of sinusitis?

  • Facial pain
  • Tenderness and swelling around the eyes, cheeks, nose and forehead
  • Sinus pressure or congestion
  • Difficulty breathing through the nose
  • Loss of taste and smell
  • Sinus headache
  • Yellow or green mucus from the nose
  • Teeth pain
  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat from nasal discharge
  • Bad breath

How is sinusitis treated?

Sinusitis can be treated nonsurgically with natural therapy such as inhaling steam or using saline nasal sprays or ENT doctors can prescribe medications such as antibiotics or nasal steroid sprays. For patients who do not respond adequately to medications, an ENT doctor may recommend sinus surgery.

Traditional sinus surgery removes bone and tissue to enlarge the sinus opening with the aim of clearing blocked sinuses and restoring normal sinus drainage. With this procedure, sinus surgery recovery is often associated with pain and scarring.

Balloon sinuplasty is a breakthrough, minimally invasive procedure that ENT doctors use to treat patients with chronic sinusitis. A tiny balloon is placed into the nose to reach the blocked sinuses and then inflated to restructure the sinus opening. The procedure is safe, effective and has a quick recovery.

What is balloon sinuplasty?

Balloon sinuplasty (BSP) is a safe and effective sinus procedure for chronic sinusitis patients seeking relief from uncomfortable sinus pain symptoms.

How is balloon sinuplasty safe and less invasive?

With balloon sinuplasty, there is no cutting of nasal bone or tissue. Balloon sinuplasty is less invasive than traditional surgery with minimal bleeding and low post-op pain. Most people can get back to normal activities and work quickly.

How long does recovery take after balloon sinuplasty?

While recovery time varies with each patient, recovery is typically fast. In a study of in-office balloon dilation, most patients returned to work and normal activity within two days.

How much does balloon sinuplasty cost?

Your cost will vary depending on your insurance coverage. Speak with your insurance company about the cost.

Is balloon sinuplasty covered by Medicare?

Yes. Medicare’s sinus surgery insurance coverage includes balloon sinuplasty.

Is the effect of this procedure permanent or might I have to undergo repeated procedures?

How long your sinuses stay open depends on the extent of your sinus disease or other factors. It is unlikely that you would require repeat procedures, but the procedure may be repeated if your surgeon deems it necessary.

Can balloon sinuplasty be used in children?

Balloon sinuplasty is a safe and effective option to relieve chronic sinusitis symptoms in children’s maxillary sinuses.

How do patients feel after balloon sinuplasty?

In a study tracking patients two years following their balloon sinuplasty sinus surgery in the OR, most chronic sinusitis patients report clinically meaningful improvement in sinus symptoms and quality of life.

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