A sinus infection (sinusitis) offers irritating symptoms like headaches, pain, congestion, and runny nose. For those suffering with chronic sinusitis, these symptoms could last more than three months at a time. Additionally, many individuals diagnosed with chronic sinusitis battle with sinus infections frequently throughout the course of many years. While there are antibiotics for sinus infections caused by some bacteria and expensive, invasive surgeries as another option, many individuals are left to suffer through the symptoms until the infection goes away on its own — until now with the introduction of the balloon sinuplasty.
Getting to Know Your Sinuses
Before you weigh treatment options for chronic sinusitis, you should know what sinusitis is and how it affects you. Essentially, a sinus is a hollow area of the body. While there are different kinds of sinuses, the ones that are affected by sinusitis are the paranasal sinuses which lead to the nasal passageways used for breathing. These passageways are coated with mucus, along with the sinuses for protection. But, when an infection of these paranasal sinuses occur due to allergies, pollutants, or virus, this mucus is produced exceedingly to deal with inflammation. The combination of the inflammation and increased levels of mucous and narrow or compromised drainage pathways are what cause the symptoms of chronic sinusitis.
What’s a Balloon Sinuplasty?
A balloon sinuplasty is a non-surgical way to remove excess mucus in the sinus cavities affected by infection so symptom relief can be obtained. The steps that make up the procedure typically include:
- A CT scan so that both patient and doctor can examine the severity of sinus congestion
- The doctor inserts a tiny balloon catheter attached to a light into one of the nostrils and guides it up into the paranasal sinus cavity
- The small device is used to enter the proper sinus cavity and confirm adequate placement.
- Next, a small balloon is inflated to enlarge the sinus opening and improve sinus drainage.
- Finally, the balloon is deflated and removed and improves sinus drainage.
Benefits of a Balloon Sinuplasty
- Performed in the office under local anesthesia
- Often takes less than 1 hour
- No cuts or incisions!
- No general anesthesia necessary!
- An alternative to undergoing surgery in the operating room
- A great option for those that experience frequent sinus infections!
Ready to see if you qualify for a balloon sinuplasty? Give Dr. Park at Eunice Park, MD a call today to make an appointment for a consultation.