There’s nothing better than the smell of fresh baked bread coming from BirchTree Bread Company. However, if you suffer from chronic sinus infections, you may not be able to enjoy such beautiful aromas. Fortunately, there is a long-term solution that is minimally invasive and highly effective: balloon sinuplasty.
The Balloon Sinuplasty Procedure
The first step in the balloon sinuplasty procedure is to sedate you so that you are comfortable; local or general anesthesia may be used.
Then, an endoscope – which is a thin flexible tube with a light and camera on the end – is advanced into the nostrils and on to the sinuses so the ENT physician can see what they are doing.
Next, a balloon catheter is also advanced into the sinuses. The balloon is slowly inflated to open the nasal passageways, then the sinuses are flushed with a saline solution to clear away mucus and other blockages.
When you wake up, you should experience noticeably better breathing.
The Advantages of Balloon Sinuplasty
In many ways, balloon sinuplasty is advantageous over traditional sinus surgery. Benefits include:
- No intended damage to or removal of sinus tissues, bone or cartilage.
- Lower risk of bleeding.
- Fewer post-op visits.
- Lower need for general anesthesia and pain medications.
Most people experience improved symptoms within three to six months of the procedure without any unanticipated side effects.
Possible Side Effects of Balloon Sinuplasty
During the balloon sinuplasty procedure, most patients report pressure or numbness, but not pain.
Side effects following the procedure include:
- Bloody drainage.
- Facial tenderness.
These symptoms typically resolve within a week of the procedure.
Long-lasting side effects, like damage to the structures of the sinuses or decreased sense of smell, are extremely rare.
Recovering from Balloon Sinuplasty
Most people can go home within a few hours of their balloon sinuplasty procedure, and can return to regular activities within 24 to 48 hours.
Some temporary lifestyle modifications are necessary. We do recommend avoiding blowing your nose for one to two days and abstaining from strenuous activities for at least a week. We also recommend sleeping with your head and neck in an elevated position to assist with drainage.
Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can help you manage irritation or discomfort.
For more information about balloon sinuplasty and other sinus solutions, call the experts at ENT Associates of Worcester today.