Balloon sinuplasty, also referred to as balloon catheter dilation surgery, is a procedure recommended for people with chronic sinus problems.

Unlike other sinus surgeries, balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that does not require the cutting or removal of any bone or tissue.

You may be a suitable candidate for this surgery if you

  • Experience chronic and recurring sinus infections
  • Have mild to moderate chronic sinus inflammation and have not been operated on before
  • Have not responded well to medication used to treat your sinus problems
  • Suffer from the symptoms listed above
Diagram of balloon sinuplasty procedure

All About Balloon Sinuplasty

Benefits of a Balloon Sinuplasty

Young woman visting male ENT doctor
  • Minimally invasive

The procedure is relatively safe and does not require the surgeon to make an incision on your nose.  Additionally, it uses a small, flexible device to gently remove the blockage in the sinuses, limiting your discomfort.

  • Quick and convenient

A balloon sinuplasty takes approximately 1 hour to complete and is an outpatient procedure – it is performed in our clinic and does not require you to spend a night at the hospital.

  • Reduced bleeding

There is reduced bleeding associated with the procedure as there is no need to remove any tissue or bone.

  • Minimal recovery time

While recovery time varies, you can expect to resume your routine and carry out your usual activities after 1 week.

Balloon Sinuplasty Procedure

Balloon Sinuplasty process

The balloon sinuplasty system consists of 3 key pieces of equipment

  • Guide wire
  • Guide catheter
  • Balloon
  1. The doctor will insert the guide wire into the obstructed sinus with the help of an angled guide catheter (Figure 1).
  2. A small balloon is then guided through the nasal passage, and into the sinus cavity (Figure 2).
  3. Once the balloon is correctly positioned, it is inflated to dilate the obstructed sinus (Figure 3).
  4. Your doctor may flush out the build-up in your sinus before removing the system (Figure 4).

What to Expect After a Balloon Sinuplasty

What to Do After a Balloon Sinuplasty?

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  • Sleep with your head elevated

Sleeping with your head elevated helps to reduce nasal congestion. To do this, prop at least 2 pillows beneath your head, ensuring that it is higher than your chest.

  • Rinse your nose

Rinsing your nasal passages with saline solution clears your nose congestion and can speed up recovery time.

  • Take the prescribed medication

Make sure that you take the medicine as prescribed by your doctor. Avoid self-medicating and consult your doctor before consuming any over-the-counter pain reliever.

  • Avoid blowing your nose

To prevent bleeding, hold off blowing your nose. If possible, avoid blowing your nose for at least 24 hours after the procedure.

Possible Side Effects of Balloon Sinuplasty

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Some side effects associated with the procedure include

  • Bleeding
  • Tenderness in the nose, cheek or forehead
  • No response to treatment
  • Congestion
  • Inflammation

In rare cases, balloon sinuplasty can worsen a patient’s symptoms and alter the appearance of his nose.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the balloon sinuplasty procedure painful?

No, the procedure is not painful as patients are required to go under anaesthesia, preventing them from feeling pain or discomfort.

Is balloon sinuplasty permanent?

There is currently no clear clinical data to indicate that the effect of a balloon sinuplasty is permanent.

However, it has been reported that many patients enjoy long lasting results following the procedure.

What are the limitations of balloon sinuplasty?

Balloon sinuplasty is not suitable for all patients. The procedure is not recommended for those with nasal polyps or large fungus balls within their sinuses.

Patients suffering from blocked sinuses may opt for alternative treatment like endoscopic sinus surgery.

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