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If your sinuses have gotten so bad that you’re willing to do anything to fix them, then you’ve most likely heard of balloon sinuplasty and are wondering about the risks. Inflating a balloon in your nose sounds a little drastic but it’s easier and safer than you’d think.
Sinusitis is something that doesn’t just go away. It’s a chronic condition, meaning that it keeps coming back over time.
Essentially, the linings of your sinuses get inflamed and possibly infected, blocking drainage and causing a number of side effects such as:
The worst part is that these symptoms can last for up to 3 months.
Fortunately, there are many ways of tackling it. More passive methods involve inhalation therapies, nasal sprays, and antibiotics or nasal steroids. But, sometimes that isn’t enough.
Traditional sinus surgery is known as FESS: Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery. If that sounds mildly invasive, it’s because it is. Tissues and even bone have to be removed so that your sinuses can drain again.
Recently, another method has gained popularity and it breaks from tradition in a big way. Balloon Sinuplasty involves a lot less cutting, and as the name suggests, it does involve a balloon. So how does it work?
Balloon sinuplasty has been around for a long time. The technology was first employed in angioplasty. A thin wire is inserted into an artery and then a balloon catheter quickly inflates and deflates. Little has changed but now it’s being used inside swollen sinuses. The technology is tested, safe and endorsed.
It’s pretty ingenious – instead of finding the problem spot and slicing away, a thin wire is guided in and inflated, nudging the tissue and bone open. Shortly afterwards your sinuses are flushed with saline.
Although balloon sinuplasty is simpler, there are still risks for different reasons. As the balloon expands, it nudges tissue aside. Depending on how inflamed that area is, there’s a risk of trauma or infection. Then there’s the possibility of optic injury. This is completely relative to the area being treated and is only mentioned because some sinuses exist near your optic nerves and eyes.
Besides being quick and convenient, there are minimal risks with balloon sinuplasty when compared to other techniques. The idea sounds a little unorthodox, but opening up inflamed sinuses with a balloon is a lot less intense than some of the other options out there and will give you relief when you need it – right away.
Poor sinus drainage, which leads to infection and discomfort, is the source of persistent or recurring sinus pain. While balloon sinuplasty is an effective solution to sinusitis, you’ll first need to qualify for the procedure. Take our Chronic and Recurrent Sinusitis Quiz to see if you qualify for this revolutionary treatment.