Are you a candidate for balloon sinuplasty? Or do you need surgery in the operating room?
That is one of the most common questions that Hao “Mimi” Tran, M.D., F.A.C.S., a board-certified otolaryngologist at The Ear, Nose, Throat & Plastic Surgery Associates, receives in her daily clinical practice.
“My patients have heard a lot of stories of how surgery can be more difficult in recovery for more traditional surgical techniques,” says Dr. Tran. “Balloon sinuplasty is a more minimally-invasive technique. It can be done in the office with minimal sedation using local anesthesia.”
What Is Balloon Sinuplasty?
Sinusitis affects more than 37 million people each year, making it one of the most common health problems in the United States. In Orlando, balloon sinuplasty is one of the newest and least invasive alternatives to traditional sinus surgery to open blocked sinus passageways and restore normal sinus drainage for patients suffering from chronic allergies and sinusitis.
In cases of either acute or chronic sinusitis, the sinus passageway is blocked, causing sinus pressure, congestion, difficulty breathing through the nose, sinus headaches, fatigue, sore throat, tenderness and swelling around the eyes, cheeks, nose, and forehead, along with a whole host of other symptoms. The aim of balloon sinuplasty is to open that sinus passage in order to relieve those same symptoms.
The FDA-approved procedure utilizes a small, flexible balloon to open and restructure nasal passageways which may alleviate sinus headaches, fatigue and congestion. In fact, the procedure is very similar in technique to the way a cardiologist would open blocked arteries during balloon angioplasty.
Is Balloon Sinuplasty Right for You?
According to Dr. Tran, the ideal candidates for balloon sinuplasty are those that have more moderate to mild sinus disease. Patients with more severe nasal abnormalities may not benefit from the procedure.
“Patients with significantly obstructed, deviated nasal septums, the wall in the middle of the nose that’s very crooked and off to one side, preventing access to the sinuses, may not be good candidates for balloon sinuplasty,” says Dr. Tran.
“Patients who don’t have polyps or overgrowth of too much tissue in the sinuses are good candidates for the procedure.”
Dr. Tran notes that an individual’s preferences and personality can also play a part in the type of sinus surgery they choose. “At the end of the day, it can come down to a patient’s preference,” says Dr. Tran. “Just talking to your doctor about how comfortable you’d feel having the procedure done in the office. Some patients prefer to have procedures, even minimally-invasive ones, done in the operating room. But overall, patients do very well with balloon sinuplasty in the office.”
Results of Balloon Sinuplasty
Over 150,000 patients have had their chronic sinusitis treated safely with the procedure, and over 95% of patients demonstrate an improvement in sinus symptoms. Balloon sinuplasty has proven to be a safe and effective solution for patients suffering from sinusitis.
Balloon sinuplasty is a less invasive option for patients who have not found relief from prescribed antibiotics – a situation that an estimated 20% of sinusitis sufferers find themselves in – and can be performed under local anesthetic with a speedy recovery.
Balloon sinuplasty has several advantages over traditional sinus surgery including:
- Reduced pain
- Quicker recovery times
- Bone and tissues remain intact
- Minimal bleeding
For more information about balloon sinuplasty or sinus surgery, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll be happy to answer any of your questions and address your concerns.