What Should Patients Know About Balloon Sinuplasty?

Posted on: 6 February 2023


The sinuses are located at the front of the skull above and around the nose. They play important roles within the body, producing mucus and protecting your face. However, sinuses may sometimes develop infections due to bacteria and viruses. People who experience frequent sinus infections may seek treatment from an ENT specialist. Balloon sinuplasty is one procedure used by ENT surgeons to widen the sinus cavity to prevent infection and improve breathing. Here are four things patients should know about the balloon sinuplasty:

1. Balloon sinuplasty can prevent recurrent sinus infections.

The sinuses produce mucus, which lubricates the mucous membranes of the body. Mucus drains from the sinuses through the nose. However, narrow sinus passages can trap mucus, which can lead to infections. Balloon sinuplasty can widen sinus cavities that are too narrow. This can allow patients to find long-term relief from recurrent sinus infections, thereby reducing their reliance on antibiotics.

2. Balloon sinuplasty can be performed under local anesthesia.

Balloon sinuplasty is often performed while the patient is awake. Local anesthesia is first injected into the area around the sinuses to create a numbing effect. Once the anesthesia takes effect, a small balloon is inserted into the nasal cavity using a long, sterile tool. Local anesthesia is less risky than general anesthesia and does not require patients to fast or remain in the hospital for observation once their procedure ends.

3. Balloon sinuplasty is minimally invasive.

Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that is typically performed in the office of an ENT specialist. Since this procedure is performed through the nostrils, no incisions are required. Patients do not require stitches, and most feel better within a few days. Balloon sinuplasty can be a desirable alternative to more invasive sinus procedures, such as endoscopic sinus surgery. This minimally invasive treatment can offer permanent relief for people suffering from breathing issues and infections caused by narrow sinuses.

4. The recovery process for balloon sinuplasty is typically easy.

After balloon sinuplasty, patients will be encouraged to take it easy for a few days. Some lingering soreness may be felt in and around the surgical site, but many patients find that this discomfort is easily manageable with over-the-counter medication. Surgeons will advise patients about aftercare procedures, which may include using saline nasal rinses while their sinuses heal. Following your doctor's instructions will ensure that you do not develop excess scar tissue in your sinuses following your balloon sinuplasty procedure.