Balloon sinuplasty is the newest procedure for tackling sinusitis. This leaves many patients to wonder: Why choose balloon sinuplasty over a more traditional sinus surgery? In order for you to make an informed choice, it’s best to know what steps are involved with each procedure.
Traditional Sinus Surgery: FESS
Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS) is the most popular procedure used to treat sinusitis. The procedure uses a nasal endoscope (4mm in size for adults and 2.7mm for children) to view the openings into the sinuses. Once your physician has a clear view of the abnormal and obstructive tissues that impairs your breathing, they will then use surgical instruments to remove them from the sinuses.
One of the benefits of FESS is that the surgery leaves no external scarring. Using state-of the art equipment, the procedure is done entirely from the inside of the nostrils. The endoscope also allows your doctors to avoid the removal of normal tissue around the infected area.
Unfortunately, there are many risks involved with this procedure. The surgery requires cutting of the nasal bone and tissue to remove obstructions, which creates wounds within the nose. The damage needs packing in order to stop long-term bleeding from occurring. The sinuses are also relatively close to your eyes, optic nerves, brain, and internal carotid arteries, making it dangerous to cut near that area.
Balloon Sinuplasty is quickly becoming one of the safest procedures to be used against sinusitis. Similar to other sinusitis surgeries, the balloon sinuplasty procedure uses endoscopic visualization to examine the sinuses. However, instead of cutting through nasal bone and tissue, your physician will use a balloon attached to a wire catheter.
The balloon is inflated in order to dilate the sinuses and change the shape of the sinus passageways. Once the balloon is removed, the sinuses are cleaned and normal breathing is return within the next two days. This is a huge indication of the procedures quick recovery times.
There are many benefits to balloon sinuplasty. The balloon used within the procedure is small, soft and flexible, making the procedure non-invasive and fairly comfortable. Another added benefit is the lack of the surgical instruments that are normally found in traditional sinus surgery. Without the cutting of nasal bone and tissue, there is little damage and minimal bleeding.
So, which procedure should you choose to relieve sinusitis symptoms? Balloon sinuplasty has all the benefits of a traditional sinus surgery without any of the risks. While FESS may be the more popular of the two treatments, balloon sinuplasty is the safer choice.