Chronic Sinusitis results when swollen tissue blocks the sinus openings preventing mucus drainage, and allowing bacteria to grow in the sinus cavities. This swelling can come from allergies, chemical irritants (like cigarettes), or even from infections. Many patients have structural abnormalities in their sinus cavities, which predispose them to infections when their tissues become swollen. Endoscopic sinus surgery removes these structural abnormalities and allows the sinuses to drain, despite any swollen tissue.
A subset of patients who would benefit from endoscopic sinus surgery may be candidates for Balloon Sinuplasty. This is a relatively new procedure which helps open the blocked sinus drainage passageways.
Balloon Sinuplasty relies on the same technology that cardiologists have been using for years to open blocked arteries. A deflated balloon is placed into the narrowed sinus opening, inflated and then removed. This opens the passageway to allow the mucus to drain. This procedure has some advantages and some disadvantages when compared to more traditional sinus surgery. While the balloon procedure is somewhat less invasive, the sinus passageways are not opened as widely and may be more prone to become too narrow with time.
Balloon Sinuplasty can be performed either in the office or in the operating room, and is typically performed on an outpatient basis. Most patients experience very little in the way of post operative pain. Risks of the procedure are low, and include mild bleeding and recurrent blockage of the openings. Follow up visits are necessary to ensure that the sinus openings remain patent. Dr. Katin and Dr. Gawthrop will discuss your sinus condition with you to determine if balloon sinuplasty would be a viable treatment option.