Balloon sinuplasty is a beneficial procedure that can help people snore less and breathe easier. The in-office treatment has been well-studied through the years, providing us with clear answers to patient’s common questions. Here, we answer the questions that stem from misinformation and that many are afraid to ask.
Is the balloon left in the sinuses?
Balloon sinus dilation inserts a small, deflated balloon into the sinus tract. The balloon is inflated once it is in position, and is then deflated and removed. There is no need to leave any material in the sinus tract because this area is surrounded by fine malleable bone that can be compressed into a new shape.
Will the sinuses stay open after balloon sinuplasty?
Many people believe that balloon sinuplasty is only a short-term fix. Studies indicate otherwise. Long-term studies that have included the use of high definition nasal endoscopy and CT scans have shown that the sinus tract heals in an open position after the balloon sinuplasty treatment causes painless micro-fractures.
Is sinus surgery a better solution than balloon sinuplasty?
When compared side-by-side, balloon sinuplasty and sinus surgery have been found to achieve similar results. The benefit of balloon sinuplasty, then, is that the procedure is less invasive and risky. Patients tend to heal much more quickly, with less bleeding and pain, after balloon sinuplasty.
Advances in technology and technique make balloon sinuplasty a suitable option even for complicated cases and more severe sinus problems.
Is it safe to undergo sinuplasty in the office rather than a surgery center?
Balloon sinuplasty has been safely performed in the office for several years. Patients receive a mild sedative shortly before their procedure to ease treatment-related anxiety. On a pain scale of 0 to 10, patients place their balloon sinuplasty procedure at a 1 or 2. The procedure does not involve any incisions or packing. During the brief visit, Dr. Gould inserts a tiny tube through the nostril and positions the end in the sinus tract. Here, the balloon is inflated to widen the drainage passage. It is then deflated and removed.
Dr. Gould is internationally-recognized as a researcher, developer, and expert in the performance of balloon sinus dilation techniques. The St. Louis Sinus Center is a National Center of Excellence for in-office balloon sinuplasty and a center to which surgeons travel to observe Dr. Gould’s treatment technique.