Balloon sinuplasty is a type of endoscopic nasal surgery. It uses small balloon catheters that inflate to drain the large nasal sinuses. Balloon sinuplasty is typically used to treat cases of severe rhinosinusitis or sinus inflammation and blockage in the nose.
The procedure was adapted from angioplasty, where balloon catheters are used to dilate damaged or congested blood vessels near the heart. Balloon sinuplasty, as with all sinuplasty surgeries, is considered extremely effective in reducing symptoms of rhinosinusitis.
When combined with intraoperative navigation guidance system, the complication rates reduce to minimum. This displays a visual map of your sinus anatomy to the doctor. It works like GPS in a car or phone — to help guide and place the balloon device. During the minimally invasive surgery, this navigation technology helps the doctor to precisely steer the balloon to the place where your sinuses are blocked.
The procedure is minimally invasive, involves no cutting or loss of nasal tissues or bone, and has a short recovery time. Balloon sinuplasty works by dilating the openings of some or all three of the major nasal sinuses. This enables them to be cleared and drained.
Most people who need the surgery have a condition that leads to the sinus membranes becoming inflamed, preventing drainage of mucus, pus, and discharge, and causing congestion.
A balloon sinuplasty procedure may help to ease the symptoms of chronic sinusitis.
Since its introduction in the mid-2000s, balloon sinuplasty has become one of the most commonly performed types of sinus surgeries.
This popularity is because it is associated with such high rates of success and low risks of complications.
Benefits of balloon sinuplasty over traditional endoscopic sinus surgeries include:
· Lower risk of bleeding
· Shorter office, clinic, or hospital stay and much faster recovery time
· No intended damage or removal of sinus tissues, structures, mucous membranes, nasal bones or sinus cartilage
· Fewer required post-operative appointments or need to inspect stitches or sutures
· Reduced need for the use of operative and post-operative pain medications
· Reduced need for general anaesthesia and lowered risk of adverse reaction to it
· Reduced risk of post-operative infection
· Reduced risk of unintentional tissue or structure damage
· Reduced risk of scarring and continued inflammation
Balloon sinuplasty is a low-risk procedure that has positive results for almost all patients.
The procedure may be done using general or local anaesthesia. After administering either form of anaesthesia, a doctor inserts an endoscope, once the entrance to the cavity is reached, the doctor will slowly advance a small balloon catheter over the guiding endoscope wire.
When the balloon catheter is correctly positioned inside the nasal passage and cavity, it will be slowly inflated and pressed against the sinus walls, to microfracture the bone slightly and force an opening.
Once the balloon is fully inflated, mucus or pus will be flushed out from the cavities. Finally, the balloon is removed, and the sinus is left to continue to drain naturally.