Chronic Rhinosinusitis can affect anyone. It’s a common condition that millions of people deal with yearly. If you’re suffering from this disease, you’re probably wondering what your options are. After all, 12 weeks of inflamed and swollen sinuses, mucus buildup, and difficulty breathing is more than troubling – it’s unbearable.
The Positives and Negatives of Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery
The first option you have in the fight against chronic rhinosinusitis is Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS). This treatment was developed in the 1970’s, becoming the standard surgical option for patients with chronic rhinosinusitis. FESS is effective at reducing your symptoms, making your condition significantly better.
During the procedure, patients have a choice between general or local anesthesia. After they are asleep or sedated, doctors use an endoscopic telescope to look inside the sinus passageways and examine the blockage. Once surgery begins, tissue and bone are removed to expand the sinuses. FESS can last up to 2-4 hours, making it an extensive surgery.
The issue with FESS is its many risks. The sinuses are located fairly close to the optic nerve, eyes, and the brain. Surgery can lead to trauma in the area, especially when cutting tissue and bone. Patients commonly experience excessive bleeding and infection. Even worse, they risk temporary double vision and blindness. Some rare cases have even lead to meningitis or brain abscesses.
Once again, many of these risks are rare. However, recovery can take some time, even up to 3-4 weeks. Within that time span, patients are known to experience bleeding, pain, and discomfort. Medications are prescribed to prevent infection from spreading.
The Newest Surgical Option: Balloon Sinuplasty
The newest alternative to sinus surgery is Balloon Sinuplasty. It takes inspiration from Balloon Angioplasty, which treats heart conditions. Balloon Sinuplasty was developed back in 2004. Since then, it has proven to be one of the safest options for treating chronic rhinosinusitis and just as effective as FESS. Easily, more and more Otolaryngologists are introducing this option to their patients.
This procedure also uses a nasal endoscope to look into the sinuses, just like FESS. The difference between the two procedures is that a series of balloons are attached to the end the endoscope. These balloons expand, remolding the sinuses, opening the sinus ostium to restore drainage and breathing. There is no cutting involved, and bleeding is minimal. The procedure is often finished within an hour. For patients, this option is less invasive and does not disrupt their quality of life.
Over the years there have been several studies evaluating the success of Balloon Sinuplasty. One thing these studies have proven is that the Balloon Sinuplasty procedure is just as effective as FESS when it comes to improving your sinus condition. The advantage that Balloon Sinuplasty has over FESS is that the structure of your nasal cavity is barely damaged after surgery.
During the recovery period for Balloon Sinuplasty, there is low post-op pain. While recovery is different for everyone, most patients recover in two days, especially if the procedure is done in-office and under local anesthesia. There are risks to this surgery, as with any sinus surgery. In rare cases, complications can arise, like tissue and mucosal trauma, infection, and damage to the optic nerve.
Relieving Chronic Rhinosinusitis With Dr. Eric Cohen
Balloon Sinuplasty is the less invasive option for patients who want relief but don’t want to an extended absence from their personal and work life. While both Balloon Sinuplasty and FESS are equally effective at keeping your symptoms away for several years, Balloon Sinuplasty does less damage to the patient. They can return to their daily activity without the burden of long recovery times or symptoms of chronic rhinosinusitis.
Don’t’ wait to cure yourself of chronic rhinosinusitis. The longer you wait to deal with the condition, the more it can affect your health and lead to more troublesome disease. People with this condition have been known to also have diabetes, psychological issues, and sleep conditions.
If you live in New York and are dealing with chronic rhinosinusitis, contact Dr. Eric Cohen. Your condition requires expert care, and with more than 20 years of experience as an otolaryngologist, Dr. Cohen knows just what to do. He is one of the leading practitioners of Balloon Sinuplasty and can perform this treatment if needed. Relief your symptoms today.