Everything you ever wanted to know or should know about Balloon SinuplastyThis primer is developed specifically for prospective patients who have heard about in-office balloon sinuplasty and are wondering if that is something that will help them with their sinus symptoms.
Balloon sinuplasty is a culmination of the ‘minimally invasive’ approach to helping patients with chronic or recurrent sinusitis. The ‘minimally invasive’ moniker is a term used across specialties to describe an intervention which is designed to accomplish a relief of disease without the traditional surgical cutting required by previously existing techniques. This is the story of minimally invasive sinus surgery that has culminated in today’s in-office balloon sinuplasty techniques.
Definition of Sinusitis - Acute vs Chronic
Chronic sinusitis is defined as inflammation of the sinuses which lasts longer than 12 weeks. It is an affliction which is the most common chronic disease in the United States. It is distinguished from ‘acute’ sinusitis by its duration. Typically, someone with acute sinusitis describes having ‘cold’ symptoms which may gradually improve over a few days but which linger and develop over the ensuing days or weeks to an illness which involves facial pressure, headache, pain, discolored drainage, and nasal blockage. Acute sinusitis is treated with steroids and antibiotics and is usually self limiting. Surgical intervention is only required if these episodes occur four or more times a year or are particularly debilitating when they occur. Also, if a complication of acute sinusitis arises (spreading to the eye or brain, or forming an abscess), then surgical intervention is often indicated.