Sinusitis affects nearly 30 million adults in the United States. A chronic condition, it occurs when the air spaces in the skull become inflamed.
Left untreated, it can lead to vision problems. In some cases, it can also develop into meningitis.
Fortunately, there are several treatments available. For one thing, there are medications that can help with the symptoms.
Surgery may also be an option, depending on the severity. Take balloon sinuplasty, for example, it’s often recommended for those with chronic sinusitis.
What is balloon sinuplasty? How does it work? Find out by reading the rest of this post!
What Is Balloon Sinuplasty?
Balloon sinuplasty is a relatively new procedure that’s used to clear blocked sinuses. Minimally invasive, it involves the use of a small balloon to drain the nasal passages.
Generally speaking, it’s reserved for those who do not respond to medical therapies such as antibiotics or nasal corticosteroids.
About the Procedure
Balloon sinuplasty is typically performed in a hospital. With that said, some ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialists may also perform them in their offices.
During the procedure, the doctor will insert a thin, flexible tube into the nasal passages—this will allow them to see what they’re doing. Next, they will advance a small balloon catheter over the wire.
Once it’s correctly positioned, they’ll slowly inflate the balloon, which will expand the sinus opening.
From there, the doctor will flush out the passages with a saline solution—you should feel a decrease in pressure when this happens. Finally, they’ll remove the ballon and let the sinuses drain naturally.
Does It Hurt?
The procedure is usually done using local or general anesthesia. In other words, you shouldn’t feel any pain. With that said, there will be a bit of pressure or numbness during the surgery.
Tip: Consider reading some balloon sinuplasty reviews if you want to know what it’s like.
Recovering From a Balloon Sinuplasty
It’s important that you don’t blow your nose for at least 24 hours after the surgery. Also, you’ll want to avoid strenuous activity for the first week.
As far as medications go, your doctor will likely prescribe an antibiotic and painkiller. In addition to that, you’ll want to rinse your nasal passages with a saline solution for 3-7 days after the procedure—that will help promote healing.
As with all surgeries, it does carry a few risks. For example, it can interfere with an individual’s sense of smell. Not only that, but it may affect the appearance of their nose.
Rarely, it can also damage the structures that separate the brain from the sinuses.
Understanding Balloon Sinuplasy
Hopefully, that answers the question of, “what is balloon sinuplasty.” When in doubt, you can consult with your doctor to see if it’s the right procedure for you!
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