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Balloon Sinuplasty as Treatment Option for Chronic Sinusitis

Written by Kate Quero, Clinical Application Specialist at Easmed

If you have been suffering from Chronic Sinusitis, you probably would have had several trips to GPs and specialists. The doctors might have already given you several courses of different medications, and they might even have suggested surgery already. For one reason or another, you may still be unsure of what you have to do next. Well, there may be an option that is suitable for you.

While taking oral medications such as steroids, antihistamines, and antibiotics for prolonged courses would be the most common option for a lot of people, we will also need to consider their anatomical structure in order to more properly and permanently address the problem. There are instances when our natural anatomy would be the one causing our sinuses to be blocked and mucous to be trapped inside, which leads to the inflammation. Given this, the probable next choice for someone who has exhausted all medications, is to consider surgery. But of course, not a lot of us will be willing to readily undergo this form of treatment. The concern may stem out from a number of reasons such as downtime (not being able to go out or work while recovering), financial aspect (too expensive), bleeding, and pain. So what now? What can be done? Fortunately, with more researches, clinical studies, and much scientific advancement, more and more options are being made available to help those suffering from chronic sinusitis.

Have you heard of balloon sinuplasty?

Balloon sinuplasty as the name suggests, works by inserting a balloon into the sinuses and then inflating the balloon through the sinus opening to help them drain and stay clear, allowing you to breathe more properly. The balloon’s pressure, when inflated, will widen the sinus ostia by causing a very minor break on the surrounding bone, hence changing the anatomy minimally, but working drastically to relieve your symptoms.

How is Balloon Sinuplasty done?

Balloon sinuplasty is considered minimally invasive and could actually be done in clinics by your trained ENT specialists under local anaesthesia. Before the procedure, your doctor will administer anaesthetics so that you are comfortable and feel no pain during the procedure. During the procedure, together with a tiny camera, your doctor will insert a balloon catheter through your nostrils into your sinus cavity and gently dilate it. Some patients feel slight pressure but rarely any pain. This allows your sinus passages to be widened. Your doctor may also flush out mucus and pus in your sinus cavity with a saline solution.

This is a very great option for patients who are hesitant to undergo surgery but are seeking to end their daily intake of pills, tablets and syrups. Balloon sinuplasty will help preserve most of your natural anatomy with the benefits of clearing your sinuses thereby reducing the symptoms of blocked nose, facial pain, nasal discharge, and headache.

How long is the downtime for Balloon Sinuplasty?

The downtime for balloon sinuplasty done in the clinic can even be as low as zero to two days. This is because a pure balloon sinuplasty will not involve any tissue or bone cutting. There will be no sutures or stitches needed. Local anaesthesia and decongestant are administered to the area to minimize discomfort and pain. There are some studies conducted that revealed that most people who underwent balloon sinuplasty just felt pressure or numbness of the sinus area during the procedure, instead of pain.

There will also be less need for post-procedure doctor appointments. All these combined, those suffering from chronic sinusitis who will undergo balloon sinuplasty will not have to suffer too much financially, they will not miss so much work and the expenses, in general, are minimized.

Will Balloon Sinuplasty work for me?

Balloon sinuplasty has been around since 2005 and has been approved by the FDA. Although this may seem relatively new, it has shown promising results and is slowly making its way to be one of the treatment standards for chronic sinusitis. Searching the internet will reveal studies that have shown favourable results with treatment using balloon sinuplasty.

For those who have been suffering from chronic sinusitis, this is to introduce to you an option that has not been popular or common, but is an option that could be most appropriate for you. The important thing is for you to reach out to your doctor to discuss what options are available for you, so that you can be a step closer towards improving your life. Before you think that surgery is the only option that you have left, ask your doctor about balloon sinuplasty. While there would be circumstances that would really need surgical intervention such as septoplasty (straightening of your septum) or reduction of your middle turbinates, balloon sinuplasty is also a procedure that can be done in combination with those, should it be needed.

As we proceed with our everyday lives, there are several days wherein we fail to acknowledge the beauty of being able to breathe normally. But during this time of pandemic, we have realized how refreshing every breath of air feels after we get the chance to remove our mask after hours of wearing them for the day. For those who have been suffering from chronic sinusitis, balloon sinuplasty will change your life completely. Tiring days and restless nights will soon be gone. No more throbbing headaches and facial pain and irritating nasal discharge. Goodbye stuffy nose. Nest of all, you will be able to breathe in freely and deeply as much as you want.

The benefits of being able to breathe as normally as possible are endless. It provides proper oxygenation to the organs, keeping you healthy not just physically, but mentally and emotionally, as well. As Joseph Pilates said, “Breathing is the first act of life and the last. Our very life depends on it.”, make sure every breath you take counts, and make sure you enjoy each one of it.

Give us a call at 6336 0806 or email us should you wish to inquire if Balloon Sinuplasty is a treatment option for you.



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