Is Balloon Sinuplasty Right for You?
Runny noses, itchy eyes, and nasal congestion can all have a dramatic impact on the quality of life for those who have year-round allergies and sinus problems in Raleigh.
This misery puts a damper on vacations, outdoor activities and can even affect performance at work. Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) occurs when there is persistent inflammation of the nasal and sinus passages that has continued for three months or longer.
The primary symptoms of CRS are:
- Nasal drainage and congestion
- Facial pressure and/or pain
- Ear discomfort
- Low-grade fever
- Decreased sense of smell
CRS may be caused by allergies, viruses or even sinus obstruction. When CRS does not respond to medical treatments, it may require surgical intervention. When sinuses are irritated and swollen, the tiny passageways located within them are blocked, allowing fluid and bacteria to build up. This creates an infection. According to the Proceedings of the American Thoracic Society, almost half of those with CRS may require surgery to alleviate symptoms.
BALLOON SINUPLASTY: REVOLUTIONIZING SINUS SURGERY
This minimally invasive procedure involves a tiny balloon that is inserted into the blocked sinus cavity. The balloon is inflated for five to ten seconds. The balloon is then deflated and removed, opening the sinus passage and draining the fluid. During the procedure, the sinuses may be irrigated as well.
Balloon Sinuplasty offers several advantages. Patients can return to regular activities almost immediately, and because tissue is not removed, there is less bleeding. It can be performed in the operating room under general anesthesia or in the doctor’s office with local anesthesia. In addition, patients experience less pain and don’t have to worry about the inconvenience of nasal packing.
Balloon Sinuplasty, when directed at the frontal and maxillary sinuses, is very effective. The frontal sinuses are located above the eyes and bridge of the nose. The maxillary sinuses are located within the bone of each cheek. After Balloon Sinuplasty, patients not only exhibited fewer sinus problems, but they also required fewer antibiotics and nasal steroids after surgery. Studies believe this may be because Balloon Sinuplasty does not alter the structure of the sinuses.
IS BALLOON SINUPLASTY EFFECTIVE?
Absolutely! Not only is it effective, but it also produces lasting results. While results vary depending upon each individual patient, clinical studies show also that after nine months, 95 percent of patients showed significant improvement. In addition, some patients were able to return to work and regular activities within two to three days. Remember, because each patient is unique, it is vital that you discuss your expectations with your ENT physician.
IS IT RIGHT FOR YOU?
Patients who have CRS and other sinus problems are good candidates for Balloon Sinuplasty. However, patients should realize that their sinus problems may be caused by allergies. Because of this, they should follow-up with a physician. An ENT – also called an otolaryngologist – is a physician who is specially trained and uniquely qualified to perform this procedure and provide lasting relief from CRS. Only your doctor can determine if this treatment is right for you.