What Is Balloon Sinus Dilation?
Balloon Sinus Dilation (also known as Balloon Sinuplasty) is a proven, simple sinus procedure designed to open blocked sinus passages, allowing for adequate airflow and drainage. The goal of balloon sinus dilation (BSD) is to end the cycle of sinusitis (sinus infections) once and for all. The procedure is pretty straightforward and Dr. Gould performs it in our offices as an outpatient procedure.
Who Is A Candidate For Balloon Sinus Dilation?
The first step in determining if BSD is right for you, is to have Dr. Gould review your history and CT scans. For your convenience, we can review your history and perform a CT scan right in our office! For patients who have failed medical therapy, BSD or sinus surgery may be the best option for reversing your sinusitis cycle.
General benchmarks are the recurrent or chronic sinusitis patients:
- In the past year, a sinus infection (symptoms lasting ten days or longer) on three separate occasions – with interim periods of no symptoms.
- Sinusitis symptoms lasting 12 or more weeks.
Why Choose Dr. Gould For Balloon Sinus Dilation?
Since 2010, Dr. Gould has performed thousands of balloon sinus dilation procedures right in the comfort of the St. Louis Sinus Center. He is an internationally recognized expert, developer, and researcher of In-Office Balloon Sinus Dilation techniques. His passion for continuing advancements in sinusitis treatment has led him to be a host site and principal investigator for multiple groundbreaking studies, including the REMODEL study.
Weekly, ENT surgeons travel across the county to the St. Louis Sinus Center to observe and learn his techniques for balloon sinus dilation, as well as other cutting-edge, office-based procedures. As a result of his extensive training initiatives, he is recognized as a National Center of Excellence.
What Happens During A Balloon Sinus Dilation?
BSD is performed in the comfort of the St. Louis Sinus Center. The patient will take a mild sedative prior to the procedure to ease anxiety or nerves.
Click on image to expand.
- STEP 1 – Local and topical anesthesia is used to numb the sinus area.
- STEP 2 – A tiny catheter is inserted into the nose and then into the opening (ostium) of the narrowed or blocked sinus passage.
- STEP 3 – On the end of the catheter is a balloon filled with saline (salt water). Once inside the sinus opening, the balloon is dilated (or inflated) for about 5-10 seconds. By dilating the balloon, the sinus opening is remodeled by up to six times the size, allowing for proper drainage and ventilation.
- STEP 4 – The balloon and catheter is removed
The beauty of balloon sinus dilation is that the inflated balloon gently opens and reshapes the sinus passage without requiring tissue or bone removal. In addition, there is little to no downtime as most patients return to normal activities within a day or two!
Watch Our Video Animation
To learn more about the Balloon Sinus Dilation Procedure, check out our animated video.
What Is The Recovery From Balloon Sinus Dilations Like?
Since there is no tissue removal there is usually no bleeding, bruising or swelling associated with BSD. Patients may have some bloody nasal discharge for a day or two following the procedure, but that’s it. Most patients go back to normal activities the next day.
What Are The Benefits Of Balloon Sinuplasty?
Prior to 2005, traditional Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS) was the only option available when medications were not enough to treat chronic sinusitis (sinus infections.) FESS involves removing tissue and bone, is performed under general anesthesia in a surgery center or hospital, and recovery can be painful – taking up to 4 weeks.
In 2005, Balloon Sinus Dilation was FDA approved and came from the field of interventional cardiology, where tiny balloons have been used for years to gently dilate blocked arteries. The goal of BSD is similar – to open blocked sinus passages to allow for adequate ventilation and restore natural drainage. In contrast to traditional sinus surgery, balloon sinus dilation is performed in the office, with local anesthesia, and with little to no downtime.
Does Balloon Sinus Dilation Work?
In many well designed clinical studies, Balloon Sinus Dilation was shown to have a 94% success rate. This means that on average, only about 6 patients in 100 will need another procedure. We anticipate that you will only need one. If needed, the next procedure could either be another Balloon Sinus Dilation or a traditional sinus surgery in the operating room.
In 2013, Dr. Gould and several other sinus experts from across the country were principal investigators in a pivotal study called REMODEL.
REMODEL, published in the American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy, was the first randomized, multi-center clinical trial to compare traditional endoscopic sinus surgery to in-office balloon sinus dilation.
What Is Sinusitis?
Sinusitis is defined as an inflammation of the tissue that lines the sinus cavity. Sinusitis is very common – around 35 million Americans have at least one sinus infection a year. In some cases, the swelling (inflammation) completely blocks the sinuses, trapping mucus and air inside. The trapped mucus can turn into a bacterial sinus infection and result in a variety of symptoms.
Symptoms Of Sinusitis
Symptoms of recurrent and/or chronic sinusitis include the following:
- Thick, discolored discharge from the nose
- Postnasal drainage down the back of the
- Nasal obstruction or congestion, making breathing through the nose very difficult
- Pain, tenderness, and/or swelling around the eyes, cheeks, nose or forehead
- Reduced sense of smell and taste
- Ear pain
- Aching in the upper jaw and teeth
- Couth that worsens at night
- Bad breath
Dr. Gould uses balloon sinus dilation for recurrent and/or chronic sinusitis sufferers.
Balloon Sinus Dilation Success Stories
I have been going to Dr Gould for over a decade. He is always nice, explains everything, and he knows his stuff. Really makes you feel cared for and always has your best interest at heart. His faculties and his staff is also top notch. I can not say nothing good about him." - B.R.
There are many success stories from patients who have had the Balloon Sinus Dilation Procedure. To see some, click here
Does Insurance Cover Balloon Sinus Dilations?
With the exception of a few insurance plans, the vast majority of insurance companies cover BSD. In fact, Medicare was the first to approve the procedure for the office.
Are Balloon Sinus Dilations Painful?
Patients may experience some discomfort during the procedure. On a pain score of 0 to 10, with 10 being the most severe, most patients score their discomfort as a 1 or 2.
More Common FAQs
Schedule A Balloon Sinus Dilation Consultation in St. Louis
If you are interested in learning more about Balloon Sinus Dilation with Dr. Gould, please call 314-450-7720 to schedule a consultation with our experienced team at our office’s in St. Louis and Festus, MO. You can change your life with nose surgery and you can take the first step by speaking with us.