Eustachian Tube Dilation (Eustachian Tube Balloon Dilation)
The Eustachian tube (ET) is the narrow tube that connects the middle ear to the back of the nose. This tube is what you “pop” when you descend on an airplane or scuba dive by yawning, swallowing, or blowing after pinching your nose. The ET drains the ear and relieves ear pressure that can build up. If this tube does not open up properly, it can lead to Eustachian Tube Dysfunction (ETD). ETD can cause:
- fullness in the ear
- ear “popping”
- hearing loss (“muffled” ear)
- fluid behind the ear drum
- tinnitus (ringing in the ear)
- ear infections
- unsteadiness or dizziness
Long term ETD can lead to more severe damage to the middle ear or hearing loss that may require surgery.
The lining of the ET is lined with the same lining found in the nose; therefore, whenever your nose swells (allergies, sinus, cold, etc.), the ET can swell which may lead to ETD.
Traditionally ETD is treated with nasal sprays, antibiotics (if infected), decongestants, and possibly a pressure equalization tube. There is now a new technique that treats the ET directly called Eustachian Tube Dilation or Eustachian Tube Balloon Dilation. Dr. Pasha is already a highly recognized pioneer using balloon technology in the sinuses. He has published several leading journal articles, lectured across the country, and performed the first in-office balloon sinuplasty in Houston. Dr. Pasha now uses similar technology to address ETD.
This may be done in the operating room or in the office (not currently FDA approved for local anesthesia).
Find relief from Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
Eustachian tube balloon dilation is has been proven effective in several peer reviewed studies.
- 99.7% Dilation access rate.
- An improvement from 13.9% (control) to 51.8% normalization of the tympanogram (a measure of middle ear pressure).
- A greater improvement in quality of life based on ETD questionnaires.
Eustachian tube balloon dilation is safe and FDA approved (under general anesthesia); however, potential risks include tissue and mucosal trauma, infection, or carotid artery injury (exceedingly rare). In one 299 patient study, there was 0% reported serious complication rate.
If done in the operating room, there is very little postoperative discomfort (if any).
In the office, balloon ET dilation is tolerated typically with little discomfort.
It is a little complicated because there is no procedure code currently available specifically for ET dilation; however, there are other related codes that may be considered that may be covered by insurance.