Treatment Options

If you have been diagnosed with chronic sinusitis and are not responding well to medication, you may be a candidate for Balloon Sinuplasty™. While traditional surgery can include the removal of bone or tissue from the nose, Balloon Sinuplasty™ uses a balloon catheter to gently open blocked sinuses.

Balloon Sinuplasty™ utilizes a small, flexible balloon that is placed in the nose and into the sinuses. When the balloon is inflated, it expands blocked sinus passageways, restoring normal drainage.

While results can vary by individual, more than 96 percent of patients reported that their sinus infection symptoms had stopped or improved.

Benefits of using this technology to treat chronic sinusitis symptoms include:

  • Minimally invasive – The technology uses small, soft, flexible devices that enter entirely through the nostrils.
  • Reduced bleeding – In many instances, no tissue or bone is removed.
  • Improved recovery time – The procedure is typically used in an outpatient setting, and many people can return to normal activities within 24 hours.
  • Possibility for future treatment options – The technology may be used with other medical therapies or sinus surgery. It does not limit future treatment options if you have progressive disease.

Endoscopic surgery may be needed when medicine has failed to improve or cure chronic sinusitis. Patients often experience chronic, repeated sinus infections because of an obstruction blocking the flow of mucus from their sinuses or because of another health problem. Surgery can remove blockages and make the sinus openings bigger which helps the sinuses drain, preventing future infections. Endoscopic sinus surgery is highly effective for treating sinus conditions and improves symptoms in about 90 out of 100 patients.

Endoscopic Sinus Surgery with Surgical Instruments

Sinus surgery aims to clear blocked sinuses and restore normal sinus drainage. In endoscopic sinus surgery, an endoscope is inserted into the nose, providing the doctor with an inside view of the sinuses. Surgical instruments are inserted into the sinuses alongside the endoscope, thereby allowing the doctor to remove small amounts of bone or other material blocking the sinus openings and growths (polyps) of the mucous membrane.

Surgery is most successful when it is used along with medication and home treatment to prevent future sinus infections. A second surgery and future sinus infections may be avoided if antibiotics are taken to prevent reinfection.

What are the benefits of endoscopic sinus surgery with surgical instruments?
Endoscopic sinus surgery offers more benefits to patients than traditional, more invasive sinus surgeries:

  • Less Scarring
    This procedure does not leave as much visible scarring as traditional sinus surgery because all the cutting is done endoscopically.
  • Affordability
    Because this procedure requires a shorter hospital stay (if any) than traditional surgery it is much less expensive.
  • Faster Recovery
    Patients can fully recover from endoscopic sinus surgery within a matter of weeks.

What should I expect of the surgery? 
This sinus surgery is done in a hospital under either local or general anesthesia. Because the procedure removes bone and tissue, minor discomfort and bleeding are common during the first two weeks after surgery. Weekly visits to the surgeon may be necessary for several weeks after the surgery to remove dried blood, scabs and mucus.

Recovery also may involve:

  • Taking antibiotics.
  • Using a nasal spray containing a steroid or taking an oral steroid to reduce inflammation.
  • Using saltwater washes (saline nasal lavage or irrigation) to keep the nasal passages moist and clean.
  • Avoiding activities such as blowing the nose, exercising strenuously, and bending forward for a few days.
  • Using a humidifier to keep room air moist, especially in the bedroom.

Packing the sinuses is usually not required. As with any surgery, there are always some risks involved. But endoscopic sinus surgery is very safe when performed by an experienced surgeon who has special training with endoscopic surgical techniques.

Sinus surgery does not always completely eliminate sinusitis, and some patients may need a second operation. More advanced allergy treatment might be required beyond steroids and antihistamines.

Sinusitis is an infection or inflammation of the lining of the sinus cavities, hollow spaces in your cheeks and around your eyes. Sinusitis causes pressure and pain in your head and face and can significantly impact your physical, functional and emotional quality of life. With chronic sinusitis, the infection or inflammation does not completely go away for eight weeks or more.

The same viruses that cause the common cold cause most cases of sinusitis. When the lining of the sinus cavities gets inflamed from a viral infection like a cold, it swells. This is viral sinusitis. The swelling can block the normal drainage of fluid from the sinuses into the nose and throat. If the fluid cannot drain and builds up over time, bacteria or fungi (plural of fungus) may start to grow in it. These bacterial or fungal infections can cause more swelling and pain. They are more likely to last longer, get worse with time, and become chronic.

Nasal allergies or other problems that block the nasal passages, like malformed bone structure or blockage by nasal cysts or polyps, also allow fluid to build up in the sinuses and can lead to sinusitis.

Symptoms of sinusitis:

  • Facial pain
  • Pressure
  • Headaches
  • Nasal congestion
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of taste or smell

If you experience recurrent sinus infections that don't seem to get better with medication, you could be a candidate for Endoscopic Sinus Surgery or Balloon Sinuplasty.