Did you know that sinusitis affects approximately 37 million Americans every year?
While over-the-counter and even doctor-prescribed medical treatments ease most people’s symptoms, some patients may want to look into additional procedures to open their nasal passageways.
One solution is a balloon sinuplasty treatment.
What Is Balloon Sinuplasty?
Balloon sinuplasty is a procedure that treats chronic sinusitis through the inflation of a small balloon in the nasal passageways.
Most patients who opt for this treatment have had little luck with traditional medical treatments like antibiotics. They also regularly suffer from stuffy and runny noses, congestion, facial pressure and even loss of their sense of smell.
People tend to like sinuplasty because it’s less invasive than surgical procedures and thus carries less risk for infection, blood loss, bruising and swelling.
[Related: When Should I Consider Balloon Sinuplasty?]
The procedure for balloon sinuplasty is fairly quick, is in an outpatient setting, requires no incisions and doesn’t involve bone or tissue removal.
Your doctor will administer general anesthesia or offer conscious sedation, which allows you to stay awake during the procedure. They’ll then put a topical decongestant in your nose to control bleeding and inject your nasal tissue with local anesthetic.
Next, your doctor will use a thin tube to insert a slim wire catheter into your nostril and guide a small balloon into the blocked sinus passageways. They’ll slowly inflate the balloon to gently open and widen the passageways before deflating and removing it or repeating the process until your sinuses become clear. This should restore normal sinus drainage and function.
Healing and Aftercare
Although balloon sinuplasty is a quick and straightforward procedure with permanent results, you’ll still want someone to pick you up and drive you from your appointment. You’ll feel the effects of anesthesia wearing off, so driving yourself is dangerous.
Most doctors recommend a schedule of follow-up appointments starting one week after the procedure.
As far as balloon sinuplasty recovery goes, most people should be fine returning to many of their normal activities fairly soon after the procedure. Here are some helpful postprocedure tips to speed along balloon sinuplasty recovery and make the healing process a bit less uncomfortable:
- Avoid blowing your nose for 48 hours after the procedure.
- Rinse your nose with nasal spray or a saline rinse.
- Sleep with your head elevated to minimize posttreatment congestion.
- Avoid strenuous activities or exercise for the week following your sinuplasty.
Balloon sinuplasty side effects can include mild, temporary congestion and discolored or slightly bloody nasal drainage.
[Related: How to Create an Allergy-Proof Home]
Who Qualifies for Balloon Sinuplasty?
If you’ve struggled with chronic sinus issues, balloon sinuplasty might be extremely beneficial. Although this procedure may not cure all your sinus issues, those suffering from chronic, long-lasting problems usually find balloon sinuplasty highly effective.
Unsure whether you qualify for balloon sinuplasty? If you experience any of the following symptoms, you might meet the requirements:
- Recurrent sinus infections that don’t respond to medication
- Continual foul taste in your mouth or bad breath
- Headaches around the eyes and nose
- Difficulty breathing through your nasal passageways
People who suffer from nasal polyps or tumors aren’t good candidates for this procedure. While doctors generally perform balloon sinuplasty on adults, children who haven’t responded to other sinusitis treatments may qualify in limited scenarios.
Balloon Sinuplasty Cost
Check with your insurance provider to see whether your health plan covers the procedure.
Because the sinuplasty procedure is fairly recent (as in within the past 20 years or so), a few providers still consider it “experimental” or “not medically necessary.” However, most medical insurance plans cover it when a doctor deems it medically necessary.
If you undergo the procedure in an office or clinic setting rather than in an operating room, it can be much less expensive because it’s nonsurgical.
Nonetheless, the average balloon sinuplasty cost can be anywhere from $3,000 to $7,000, depending on the doctor and location.
Contact Pasha Snoring and Sinus Center Today!
If you’re suffering from chronic sinusitis and looking for relief, we can help.
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