Balloon Sinuplasty is a state-of-the-art, minimally-invasive endoscopic sinus surgery for patients suffering from chronic sinusitis but not responding to medication treatments.
“Balloon sinuplasty technology has been around since 2006, and I’ve been performing it since 2008,” says Hao “Mimi” Tran, M.D., F.A.C.S., a board-certified otolaryngologist at The Ear, Nose, Throat & Plastic Surgery Associates. “There is clinical data showing that over a two-year period it is a very successful procedure.”
What Is Balloon Sinuplasty?
Sinusitis is one of the more prevalent health conditions in the U.S., impacting over 37 million people annually. Balloon sinuplasty is one of the latest and less invasive alternatives to traditional sinus surgery to open blocked sinus passageways; the procedure can restore normal sinus drainage for patients suffering from chronic allergies and sinusitis.
In cases of either acute or chronic sinusitis, the sinus pathways are blocked causing:
- sinus pressure, congestion and difficulty breathing through the nose
- sinus headaches
- fatigue and sore throat
- tenderness and swelling around the eyes, cheeks, nose, and forehead
Balloon sinuplasty aims to free the sinus pathways to alleviate those 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.
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.
Long-Term Results of Balloon Sinuplasty
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
Over 150,000 patients have had their chronic sinusitis treated safely with the procedure, and over 95% of patients have demonstrated an improvement in sinus symptoms.
“What researchers look at is what we call the patency rate, looking at whether or not the sinuses are still open when a surgeon looks into your nose with a special scope,” Dr. Tran continues. “And at two-year follow-up, about 90% of sinus openings were still clear.”
As part of the data, balloon sinuplasty patients also filled out sino-nasal outcome test (SNOT) questionnaires. “Over the same two-year period, the scores of all the patients who filled out the questionnaire, 85% had recorded sustained improvement in their sinus symptoms,” says Dr. Tran.
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.