Balloon sinuplasty is a treatment for chronic sinus issues. For years ENT doctors had two choices available to treat this issue: Medical therapies and sinus surgery. When medical treatment failed, Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS) would be offered.
Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS)
FESS could successfully resolve the chronic sinus issue but it came with many negatives. This surgical procedure requires general anesthesia, involves removing bone, has considerable downtime, significant bleeding is common as well as pain and weeks of crusting in the nose. This procedure also alters the natural structures and may result in scar tissue and persistent sinus infection issues despite the procedure.
As ENT surgeons began to better understand the function of the natural sinus outflow tracts, it became quite clear that preserving the natural structure would be very beneficial. The concept of balloon dilation of the natural sinus outflow tracts was developed and multiple studies have now demonstrated over time, that this procedure is as effective as FESS without all of the pain, bleeding, crusting, and downtime. It can also be done without general anesthesia.
ENT doctors have begun to incorporate this technique into their practices but there is a wide variety of experience levels and set up in their offices to provide this treatment. Most ENT doctors are doing this procedure with the patient essentially awake, with mild sedatives and local anesthesia. This can not only be uncomfortable, but it can limit the ability of the surgeon to be effective and successful in balloon placement. In most ENT offices, no other nasal issues can be addressed while the balloon procedure is being performed. For example, a deviated septum or nasal polyps would be left uncorrected. The accuracy of balloon placement can also be an issue for many ENT doctors, as they simply rely on a small light attached to the balloon to see if the balloon is placed correctly.
At Atlantic ENT Associates, we are able to address all of these issues. With essentially no downtime your structural issue can be resolved allowing much better breathing and a resolution of your recurring sinus infections.
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