Traditional surgery for sinusitis involves cutting, the removal of bone and tissue, and a lengthy recovery time for patients. That is why so many people are curious about Balloon Sinuplasty (BSP), which is a minimally-invasive outpatient procedure. Given the fact that sinuplasty is so effective and non-invasive, a lot of patients want to know if they are a good candidate for BSP.
A 2013 study published by the National Institutes of Health found that 20 patients who underwent a Balloon Sinuplasty procedure all reported dramatic improvement of their symptoms within a week. In addition, none of the patients had a recurrence of sinus infections or other symptoms in the first year after the procedure. A 2016 study found similar results, with no recurring sinusitis symptoms and no complications from the procedure. These results help explain why Balloon Sinuplasty has become such a popular procedure for patients suffering from sinusitis.
The Balloon Sinuplasty Procedure
Balloon Sinuplasty is still a relatively new procedure that has been in use since 2005. A Balloon Sinuplasty is very similar in concept to an angioplasty for heart disease patients. A tiny catheter with a balloon on the end is used for the procedure. The catheter is inserted into the infected sinus cavity. The sinuplasty surgeon then inflates the balloon, which expands the sinus cavity. The balloon makes the sinus walls wider, which allows the patient to breathe more easily.
While the catheter is still inserted, a saline spray is used inside the sinus cavity to flush out any mucus or infected pus. When the catheter and balloon are removed, the sinuses remain open. Recovery from the procedure usually takes only a couple of days. The Balloon Sinuplasty can be performed under general anesthetic or a local anesthetic for patients who are ineligible. BSP is also a covered procedure under many insurance plans.
Determining Candidacy for Balloon Sinuplasty
Unfortunately, not everyone with sinusitis is a candidate for Balloon Sinuplasty. Dr. Kumra will go over your symptoms and treatment history at ENT New York in a consultation to help determine whether Balloon Sinuplasty is right for you. In general, your candidacy will depend on the severity, frequency and duration of your sinusitis:
- Acute Sinusitis: Acute sinusitis sufferers have infections that usually last less than four weeks in duration. Their symptoms are also not as severe as those who suffer from more extreme forms of sinusitis. Those with acute sinusitis are usually not good candidates for Balloon Sinuplasty.
- Chronic Sinusitis: Chronic sinusitis symptoms can last for three months or longer and are extremely severe. Prescriptions medications usually fail to help these patients. Those with chronic sinusitis are usually good candidates for Balloon Sinuplasty.
It's important to note, however, that many of the symptoms of sinusitis could be related to a different sickness. Dr. Kumra will work with you to determine whether your symptoms are, in fact, sinusitis, before moving forward with a Balloon Sinuplasty procedure.
Here are some of the most common symptoms associated with chronic sinusitis, which will help to determine your candidacy for Balloon Sinuplasty:
- Coughing and congestion that lasts all night
- Runny nose
- Extreme asthma symptoms
- Facial pressure, sinus pain and headaches
- Runny nose
- Congested throat and nostrils
- Weakened sense of smell in extreme cases
If you have a combination of any of those symptoms, and prescription medications have failed to alleviate the symptoms or get the sinusitis under control, you may be a good candidate for Balloon Sinuplasty.
Consult With ENT New York
The easiest way to determine whether you are a good candidate for Balloon Sinuplasty is to book an appointment online to come in for an exam and consultation. Dr. Kumra is an experienced nasal and sinus surgery specialist and will work with you to diagnose your sinusitis and develop the best course of treatment. Use the “Book Online” feature on this page to schedule an appointment at your convenience.