It’s time for a Balloon Sinuplasty refresher course! Balloon Sinuplasty is the safe and effective sinus surgery for conditions like chronic sinusitis and sleep apnea. These conditions affect over 20 million American adults a year, causing people experience painful and debilitating symptoms.
Traditionally, patient dealing with sinusitis or sleep apnea underwent Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS). While effective, this procedure removes bone and tissue to treat your condition. Unfortunately, this kind of treatment is not ideal. FESS can cause excessive bleeding, as well of post-surgery pain and scarring.
Let’s walk you through how the nasal cavity works, what causes sinusitis and sleep apneas, and why balloon sinuplasty is the right option for you.
How Do the Sinuses Work?
The paranasal sinuses are a series of interconnected hollow spaces in the skull. These cavities are lined with a soft, pink tissue called mucosa, which protects the sinuses by adding a thin layer of mucus. The mucus job catches bacteria and other undesirable material. Tiny hairs that make up the walls of the sinuses will then sweep mucus and bacteria out of the nose. This drainage of mucus prevents infection from occurring.
What Causes Sinusitis and Sleep Apnea?
Anything from the common cold to allergies can affect you, causing inflammation or swelling in the sinuses. In this state, your body cannot properly drain mucus and bacteria out of the nose. As a result, harmful bacteria stays in your nasal cavities and can lead to pain and pressure, as well as impaired breathing.
Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which your breathing is shallow or is interrupted during sleep. People with sinusitis often develop sleep apnea because the inflammation or swelling affects their breathing. As you can imagine, this condition can make for a restless night as you’re dealing with irregular and poor sleep. Even worse, patients with sleep apnea will experience daytime sleepiness and fatigue.
With many cases of sinusitis and sleep apnea, the conditions resolve itself. However, there are plenty of cases where sinusitis and sleep apnea become chronic. At this point, you will need to see a doctor and ask about treatment options.
What Makes the Balloon Sinuplasty Sinus Surgery Better?
The Balloon Sinuplasty procedure minimizes the damage it does to the sinuses. Unlike more invasive surgeries like FESS, it does not cut or remove the bone and tissue of the sinuses. Instead, Balloon Sinuplasty opts for a more innovative approach.
Your doctor inserts a balloon catheter into your nasal cavity and inflamed sinus. The balloon will then inflate, expanding and remolded the sinus walls. This process creates an opening in the nasal cavity. Afterward, saline is used to remove the backed-up mucus and bacteria from the sinus. One the surgery is over, your doctor will pull out the catheter, the opening remains, and drainage returns to normal!
This procedure is quick, painless, and produces minimal post-surgery bleeding. Most patients recover within a day or two. If you are dealing sinusitis, it’s time to see an otolaryngologist. An otolaryngologist is more than qualified to treat your condition. Dr. Eric Cohen is a board-certified practitioner in the New York area, licensed to perform the Balloon Sinuplasty procedure. Contact him soon to scheduled an appointment and find relief.