What is a balloon sinuplasty?


Quick Answer

Balloon sinuplasty is a procedure where the doctor inserts a wire catheter through the nose, followed by a small balloon, and then inflates the balloon to dilate the sinus openings, according to Cedars-Sinai. After inflating the balloon and opening the sinus cavity, the doctor deflates and removes the balloon. The sinus cavity then drains more effectively.

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Full Answer

Doctors typically perform balloon sinuplasty in an operating room using general anesthesia, although they perform some procedures under local anesthesia in the medical office, advises Johns Hopkins Medicine. Benefits of the procedure include less recovery time than with traditional sinus surgery as well as less bleeding, swelling, bruising and infection risk, notes Cedars-Sinai.

Balloon sinuplasty requires less recovery time than traditional sinus surgery because there are no incisions, resulting in less trauma, explains Johns Hopkins Medicine. The procedure preserves regular sinus openings, and doctors use it as a treatment method for chronic and recurrent sinusitis that does not respond adequately to other medical interventions.

Good candidates for balloon sinuplasty include patients with chronic nasal problems, chronic bad breath, chronic foul taste or recurrent sinus infections that don't respond adequately to medication, notes Cedars-Sinai. Individuals who experience headaches around the eyes and have difficulty breathing through the nose are also good candidates for the procedure. Balloon sinuplasty is especially beneficial for patients whose sinus problems receive early diagnosis.

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