During a balloon sinuplasty procedure, a doctor inserts a wire catheter with a tiny balloon attached to the end into the patient's nostril and then inflates the balloon to open up a blocked sinus passageway, explains Cedars-Sinai. The doctor then deflates the balloon and gently pulls out the wire.
Patients receive general anesthesia before undergoing balloon sinuplasty, notes Cedars-Sinai. Because the procedure does not require any incisions or tissue removal, patients can usually resume normal activities earlier than they could if they underwent open sinus surgery. The risk of bleeding is lower than with open surgery, and patients do not always need nasal packing. Bruising, swelling and infection risks are also lower.
Following a fully successful balloon sinuplasty procedure, the sinuses drain and function normally, states Cedars-Sinai. The procedure is especially effective for patients who receive an early diagnosis for their sinus problems, but those who have long-lasting sinus troubles may also notice at least some relief of their symptoms. Recurrent sinus infections and headaches surrounding the eyes are among the symptoms from which patients commonly receive relief following the procedure. Trouble breathing through the nose, chronic bad breath and unpleasant tastes in the mouth also often resolve. Doctors sometimes refer to the procedure as angioplasty for the nose.