Balloon Sinuplasty: A Minimally Invasive Treatment for Chronic Sinusitis
In the US, chronic sinusitis is an extremely common condition affecting 31 million individuals yearly. Its symptoms can oftentimes be debilitating, affecting an individual’s quality of life.
Sinuses: The air-filled pockets surrounding the nose
Sinuses are the air-filled pockets (cavity) that are located on the sides and the top of the nose. They are lined with soft, pink tissue called mucosa. Normally they are empty except for a thin layer of mucus. There are different sets of sinuses:
- The frontal sinus is situated on top of the nose and behind the brow ridges. It forms the lower part of our forehead and reaches over the eyebrows and the eye sockets.
- The ethmoid sinus is found between the nose and the eyes. It is relatively small at birth and grows into a walnut-size cavity during adolescent years.
- The sphenoid sinus is located in the sphenoid bone near the pituitary gland and the optic nerve. The sphenoid bone is one of the bones that form the eye socket.
- The maxillary sinus is located on both sides of the cheeks, and on the sides of the nose. It is the largest of all the paranasal sinuses.
What is Chronic Sinusitis?
Chronic sinusitis or chronic rhinosinusitis is a medical term for persistent inflammation of the sinus lining which lasts for three months or more despite treatment, hence the term chronic. It is usually caused by infection due to certain viruses, bacteria, and other microbes. Structural problems in sinus such as blockage of the opening or a deviated septum can also result in chronic sinusitis.
Normal mucus drainage may not occur due to the clogging and blockage of the sinus outflow tract. This condition may cause inflammation and infection of the sinuses and most commonly affects young and middle-aged adults, but it can also affect children.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Sinusitis?
Symptoms of Chronic sinusitis may vary from one patient to another, but the most common manifestations include:
- Difficulty breathing through the nose
- Facial pain (pain, tenderness and swelling around your eyes, cheek, nose or forehead)
- Feeling of fullness, congestion, pressure on the forehead and nasal area
- Presence of thick, discolored w discharge from the nose
- Toothache or Earaches
- A cough that might worsen at night
- Problems with sense of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Bad breath (halitosis)
If you are suffering two or more of the symptoms listed above, which last for more than three (3) months/ twelve (12) weeks, you may be suffering from a chronic sinusitis. A formal diagnosis of this condition should be made by your physician. You may also be referred to an ENT (ear, nose, throat) specialist to confirm the diagnosis.
What is Balloon Sinuplasty?
Balloon Sinuplasty is a safe, minimally invasive sinus procedure that can relieve the symptoms associated with chronic sinusitis. It is performed by surgeons to effectively treat chronic sinusitis especially for those individuals who are not responding well to non-surgical methods of treatment and want relief from uncomfortable sinus pain symptoms.
How Does Balloon Sinuplasty Work?
Similar to how cardiac surgeons use balloon angioplasty uses a balloon to open clogged or blocked arteries, ENT doctors utilize specialized instruments to open blocked sinuses. Balloon Sinuplasty is accomplished by:
- Gaining access to the sinus. To obtain an access to the sinus, a guide catheter will be introduced through the nasal cavity to target the sinus ostia – the opening that connects the nasal cavity to the sinus itself. The surgeon will do this under endoscopic visualization. Once there is an access to the sinus, a guidewire, or an illumination system is gently inserted through the sinus guide catheter.
- Inflating the balloon. The surgeon will then introduce a sinus balloon catheter over the illumination system or sinus guidewire. It is then positioned across the blocked ostium (opening). Once the surgeon has verified if the position of the sinus balloon catheter is correct, the balloon will be inflated gradually to remodel and open the blocked ostium.
- Removing the balloon and irrigating the sinus. The balloon catheter is then deflated and is removed gradually. An irrigation catheter is advanced towards the sinus. Once it reaches the sinus, it will be irrigated to flush tenacious contents such as mucus and pus.
- The irrigation catheter (system) will be removed with a resultant open sinus outflow tract.
After these steps, the sinus will be cleared of pus or mucus, allowing the return of normal sinus drainage.Many types of research and published clinical data confirm that Balloon Sinuplasty can indeed provide symptom (such as facial pain, difficulty of breathing) relief for most patients treated.
Is Balloon Sinuplasty Safe?
Balloon Sinuplasty is known to be less invasive than the traditional form of surgery. Most patients who had this type of treatment return to their normal activities within 48 hours after surgery. Many surgeons also prefer this approach as it preserves the natural structure of the nasal cavity or sinuses. Over the past decade, more than 480,000 patients suffering from chronic sinusitis symptoms have been treated by ear, nose and throat doctors using Balloon Sinuplasty.
Currently, the primary indication for balloon sinuplasty is to treat mild-to-moderate sinusitis, especially those that occur on frontal sinuses.
Balloon Sinuplasty at Saint Camillus Medical Center
Find out more about Balloon Sinuplasty and break the cycle of chronic sinusitis symptoms. Book an appointment with us if you have some questions or want to find out or confirm that you have chronic sinuplasty. After a diagnosis has been made, we can discuss your treatment plan and proceed with balloon sinuplasty as necessary.
If you have more questions or want to know more about Balloon Sinuplasty, please don’t hesitate to contact our specialists here at Saint Camillus Medical Center at 817-519-3700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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