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Balloon Sinuplasty – How it Works

November 26, 2021


Typically, in the doctor’s office, you’ll be given a local anesthetic. This may be a combination of a topical medication that’s placed in your nose, as well as injectable anesthesia. You’re wide awake for this procedure. Some patients also are given a mild oral sedation to alleviate some anxiety. The procedure itself involves your surgeon introducing the balloon device into the natural opening of your sinus. The maxillary, frontal, and sphenoid sinuses can all be addressed this way. The original procedure used x-rays to determine the positioning, and then advancements came forward and an illuminated wire was used. Nowadays, most of the balloon devices use three-dimensional imaging systems to determine exactly the location of the balloon, help the doctor determine the exact placement of the balloon. Once the balloon is in good position, it’s inflated to over 10 atmospheres of pressure. This will dilate the sinus opening and cause microfractures to the bone around the opening, resulting in a very long lasting dilation. The balloon is then removed and does not stay in place. After the procedure, pain control may only require extra strength Tylenol, and recovery is much quicker than traditional sinus surgery. Oftentimes, you’ll be able to return to work the next day or the day after that. I’ll often tell patients to stay away from vigorous exercise or sports or any strenuous activity for the first few days after the procedure.

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