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The Risks and Benefits of Balloon Sinuplasty Every Patient Should Know

Balloon SinuplastyHave you seen commercials for medications these days?  They’re all similar:  Gorgeous scenery, slow motion joy and a voice saying how great life can be once you rid yourself of what ails you.  Suddenly, a dozen terrifying side effects are tacked onto the tail end of this wonder drug pitch.

Recurring sinus issues can drive you crazy enough to try anything.  Balloon Sinuplasty is a newer treatment for treating just those kinds of issues.  It’s fast, easy and convenient.  So what’s the catch?  Most of us know if something sounds too good to be true, it usually is.  Is Balloon Sinuplasty all it’s cracked up to be?

The old and the new

Sinus infections are a fact of life for millions of people.  The worst part is that it’s usually recurring or chronic.  It’s more than just bad luck.  Underlying causes have to be directly treated to put an end to the cycle.

In the past, there were only two options: medication and surgery.  Medical treatments included nasal sprays, steroids and antibiotics.  These are good, but not enough when things get complicated.

The other alternative was surgery.  Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery, or FESS clears up the sinuses by using fine adjustments and cuts to remove blockages.  It has the benefit of not leaving visible scars and having high success rates but it’s still surgery.  This means recovering and plenty of pre and post-op precautions.

This is where Balloon Sinuplasty comes in.

New and improved

Instead of cutting into tissue and bone, balloon Sinuplasty uses – you guessed it: a balloon.  A thin flexible catheter is inserted into affected areas expanding and gently parting the tissue.  Afterwards saline is sprayed to flush anything out.

Pretty straightforward, right?  Let’s look at the pros and cons:

Benefits of Balloon Sinuplasty 

  • Less Bleeding – No cutting or removal of tissue and bone.
  • Quick Turnaround – Recovery is typically under two days.
  • Convenience – Done quickly and comfortable in the office.
  • Pain/Safety – Safe and less invasive than surgery.  Can be performed under local anaesthesia.
  • Results – VERY fast relief and doesn’t limit future treatment options.

Risks of Balloon Sinuplasty 

  • Tissue Damage – Small chance of tissue/mucosal damage from the expansion.
  • Infection – Sinuses are sensitive and prone to infection, if they aren’t already at the time of the procedure.
  • Optical Damage – Just like inflamed tissue from sinusitis can affect the optic nerve, the location of the procedure is near the eye.  Nearly unheard of.

Weapon of choice

It’s definitely tricky to weigh the plusses and minuses of one of these procedures.  Taking things into your own hands and seeing a doctor may seem daunting, but if you’re armed with the right information you’ll know exactly what you’re in for.

The last thing you want is to be that person who was duped by a deal that sounded a little too sweet.  Luckily, in the case of Balloon Sinuplasty, its safety, convenience and results leave little room for doubt.