Chronic sinusitis can make your life miserable, and when common treatments fail to control your symptoms, you may wonder where else to turn. Balloon sinuplasty may be the answer. Chances are, you haven’t heard of this procedure before or what you’ve heard may be confusing. One thing you should know: Balloon sinuplasty differs from traditional sinus surgery.
At ENT New York, Dr. Vandana Kumra offers the latest treatments for chronic sinusitis, including balloon sinuplasty. We’ve outlined some important points to help you learn about this procedure, separate fact from fiction, and make informed decisions about your care.
What is balloon sinuplasty and how does it differ?
Balloon sinuplasty is a new, less invasive procedure for treating chronic sinusitis. It involves inserting a balloon into your sinuses and expanding it to drain and unblock the sinuses. In traditional sinus surgery, the surgeon typically removes bone and/or tissue. While effective, this surgery has a higher risk for complications and an extended recovery period.
For most patients, balloon sinuplasty is superior to traditional sinus surgery and has a high satisfaction rate. Unlike traditional sinus surgery, balloon sinuplasty is performed right in our office, rather than a hospital or surgery center.
Here, we debunk some of the myths about balloon sinuplasty
Myth: Balloon sinuplasty is not as successful as traditional sinus surgery
Fact: You’ll be pleased to know that when compared to traditional sinus surgery, balloon sinuplasty is not only found to be just as effective, but with fewer complications, fewer risks, and less downtime. Roughly 95% of patients who undergo balloon sinuplasty experience an improvement in symptoms.
Myth: Balloon sinuplasty is for everyone
Fact: While many patients benefit from this minimally invasive procedure, there are circumstances where you may be better served with a different approach. Patients with certain issues, such as large polyps in their sinuses, may need traditional surgery to correct the issue and get relief from chronic sinusitis.
Myth: I will need uncomfortable gauze packing
Fact: Balloon sinuplasty eliminates the need for packing the sinuses with gauze after the procedure. In the past, patients had to endure the discomfort of having gauze in their sinuses for several weeks to absorb drainage. Thanks to new technology, this is no longer necessary.
Myth: Insurance only covers traditional sinus surgery
Fact: Many insurance plans cover balloon sinuplasty, although some plans require pre-authorization in order to cover this procedure. If that is the case with your insurer, our office handles these details and completes the appropriate paperwork for pre-authorization.
Myth: Balloon sinuplasty isn’t safe
Fact: The Food and Drug Administration approved balloon sinuplasty in 2005. Adapted from a procedure known as angioplasty, balloon sinuplasty is considered to be extremely safe when performed by an experienced provider like Dr. Kumra. The procedure has a low complication rate of less than 0.1%.
Myth: I will need extended time to recover
Fact: While it’s true that traditional sinus surgery requires a couple of weeks of downtime for healing, this isn’t the case with balloon sinuplasty. This new minimally invasive procedure involves no cutting of bone or tissue, significantly reducing recovery time. Most patients return to work and their regular activities within a day or two following the procedure.
Myth: My sinusitis is too severe for balloon sinuplasty to be effective
Fact: Balloon sinuplasty is an advanced sinus treatment effective for severe cases of sinusitis. Your provider uses advanced tools to pinpoint the exact location for balloon placement to clear your blocked sinuses.
Myth: I can’t get balloon sinuplasty if I have a deviated septum
Fact: The endoscopic approach can be used to correct a deviated septum. We create an individualized treatment plan that may include taking care of your deviated septum at the same time as your balloon sinuplasty. We perform a comprehensive evaluation to determine whether you are a good candidate for balloon sinuplasty.
If you’re one of the millions of Americans suffering from sinusitis, relief is possible. For more information and an initial consultation, call our office, located on Central Park West in Manhattan, or use our form on this website to book online.