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Sinusitis is a common condition that causes pain and discomfort for tens of millions of people every year. Surprisingly, more people suffer through chronic pain and discomfort due to sinusitis than those who suffer from constant back pain or a congested heart. Nearly 15% of the American populace deals with sinusitis in one way or another, costing about $8 billion in healthcare costs and resulting in over 20 million visits to the doctor.
Since the sinuses are among the most sensitive and difficult part of the body to treat, using oral and nasal medications are typically the first choice in healing recurring sinusitis. However, for recurring cases that don’t respond to non-invasive therapy, considering a procedure such as endoscopy or Balloon Sinuplasty may be the best bet to help the sinuses recover from constant illness and irritation.
Similar to endoscopic surgery, Balloon Sinuplasty requires the physician to directly access the nasal canal in order to physically alter your sinuses from the inside. This operation involves a tiny balloon inserted into the sinus pathways. When in the correct position, the doctor slowly inflates the device, gently pressing against the walls of the sinus pathway.
By slowly dilating narrow sinus canals, the sinus pathway opens up to better airflow, allowing the sinuses to properly drain, breathe and heal from chronic infections.
After monitoring more than 1,000 patients, it was found that Balloon Sinuplasty procedures usually take an average of three hours to be completely successful. Most patients are able to resume day-to-day activities within 24 hours.
The procedure does require monitoring and follow-up visits that usually averages about 10 months. Significant gains in sinus health have been reported for up to two years following the procedure.
Balloon Sinuplasty is similar to angioplasty in the sense that a device is used to increase the diameter of a vital passageway in the body. For sinuplasty, the device dilates the nasal passage while angioplasty involves opening blood vessels to increase the flow of plasma.
Although the idea of a balloon being used to improve sinus function may seem odd, sinuplasty has proven to be minimally invasive while reducing the amount of trauma that occurs in the nose through blasting the sinuses with lasers and rotating scrubbers. Instead, as the balloon expands, the airways are opened, a process that doesn’t require making cuts within the sinus.
When repeated cases of sinusitis make it difficult to function on a day-to-day basis and other treatment options have failed, surgical procedures offer the best chance of long-term recovery. When performed by experienced practitioners, like the sinus experts at Houston Sinus & Allergy, Balloon Sinuplasty can help eliminate the symptoms of chronic sinusitis while reducing the recovery time and risk inherent in other surgical sinus procedures.