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Balloon Sinuplasty FAQs

What is sinusitis?
Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinus lining caused by bacterial, viral and/or microbial infections; as well as structural issues like blockages of the sinus opening. If the sinus opening is closed, normal mucus drainage may not occur, which may lead to infection and inflammation of the sinuses.

What are the different types of sinusitis?
There are two main categories of sinusitis: acute and chronic. Sinusitis is usually preceded by a cold, allergy attack or irritation from environmental pollutants. Often, the resulting symptoms, such as nasal pressure, nasal congestion, a runny nose and fever, run their course in a few days. However, if symptoms persist, a bacterial infection or acute sinusitis may develop. If sinusitis occurs frequently or lasts three months or longer, it may be chronic sinusitis.

What are the symptoms of sinusitis?
Common symptoms include:

  • Facial pain, pressure
  • Nasal congestion or fullness
  • Difficulty breathing through the nose
  • Discharge of yellow or green mucus from the nose
  • Teeth pain
  • Loss of the sense of smell or taste
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Bad breath

How is sinusitis treated?

  • Medical Therapy—Sinusitis is typically treated first with medication. Treatment with antibiotics or topical nasal steroid sprays is often successful in reducing swelling, fighting infection and relieving obstructions of the sinus opening. Inhaling steam or using nasal saline sprays or drops may also help relieve sinus discomfort. However, at least 20 percent of patients do not respond adequately to medications.
  • Conventional Sinus Surgery—Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS) is often the next step toward finding sinusitis relief. Specialized instruments are placed into the nose along with a small endoscope to help the surgeon see inside the nose and nasal cavities. The procedure works by removing bone and tissue to enlarge the sinus opening and may lead to post-operative pain and bleeding that requires uncomfortable nasal packing to control. Approximately 500,000 FESS procedures are performed each year in the US.
  • Endoscopic Surgery with Balloon Sinuplasty—This alternative solution in endoscopic sinus surgery, which is offered at GMC, uses minimally invasive sinus balloon catheters to position a balloon into the blocked sinus passageway. The balloon is then inflated to gently restructure and open the sinus passageway, restoring normal sinus drainage and function often without tissue or bone removal. The Relieva Stratus Microflow Spacer is the newest device in this family and the only to release medication directly into the sinuses.

What are the benefits of using Balloon Sinuplasty?

  • Minimally invasive—The technology uses small, soft, flexible devices introduced entirely through the nostrils. These devices gently open blocked sinuses.
  • Safe and effective—While use of any surgical instrument involves some risk, studies demonstrate that Balloon Sinuplasty is safe and effective in relieving sinusitis symptoms.
  • Reduced bleeding—No tissue or bone is removed during surgery using this technology, leading to reduced bleeding.
  • Fast recovery time—While recovery time varies with each patient, some patients have been known to return to normal activities within 24 hours.

For more information about Balloon Sinuplasty, or to schedule an appointment with a physician call 678-312-5000.