Posted on Feb 01, 2024, 2 p.m.
Sinuses protect the underlying structures, keep the skull light, and manage throat and nose health. When these air cavities in the face and skull develop infection or inflammation, you suffer from breathing and sleeping problems. Various other debilitating symptoms can also accompany them. Generally, sinusitis can be of two types: acute and chronic. Acute conditions often disappear with time, but chronic sinus infections can last longer. Initially, ear, nose, and throat specialists (ENTs) recommend antibiotics, antihistamines, decongestants, and nasal rinses. Based on the patient's condition, steroids can also be advised.
However, recurring and persistent sinusitis may demand surgery to clear the sinus blocks. Earlier, functional endoscopic sinus surgery was the standard solution for those affected by chronic sinusitis or chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). Today, a less invasive and more effective procedure, known as balloon sinuplasty, is also available, which only an expert sinus surgeon can perform. Let's understand this surgical procedure a little.
ENTs (Otolaryngologists) offer a less invasive endoscopic treatment called balloon sinuplasty to treat sinus inflammation. This procedure is recommended when all the other remedies, such as antibiotics, nasal decongestants, and saline sprays, fail to produce any desired impact. However, they must do a CT scan to ensure this surgery suits the person. For the process to begin, you have to take local anaesthesia. After this, the surgeon will put a catheter inside the nose through an endoscope. A catheter directs a tiny balloon in the sinus glands before inflating it to open the blockages. Once done, the balloon will be deflated and removed. Or they can repeat it depending on the sinus condition before letting it down.
Benefits and side-effects of balloon sinuplasty
Like any other surgery, this sinusitis procedure also involves minor risks, such as a swollen face and nasal passages, blood traces in the drainage appearing for a few days after the surgery, etc. Some can also feel tenderness in their nose, cheeks, and forehead. You can also expect to face inflammation and infection. However, balloon sinuplasty is better than many procedures as it keeps your nose and sinus structures intact. Complications are rare. One can recover from the operation in a short time. You may have to visit ENT for follow-ups to eliminate residues, but those will be fewer.
Why should you opt for balloon sinuplasty?
Various factors make this surgery a favourable option with chronic sinusitis patients. One of them is the lower risk of bleeding. Because this process doesn't tamper with the existing cartilage, bone, and sinus tissue, it feels minimally invasive. Due to this, surgery and recovery take little time. It's also painless; slight heaviness can be sensed in the nose during the operation. Hence, the need for pain medications remains lower. At the same time, a successful surgery minimises scarring and repeat infection risks.
In the early days, sinus surgery was seen as dangerous. However, modern techniques and equipment have eliminated significant risk factors, making them safe, provided the surgeon is knowledgeable and trained. Someone specialising in endoscopic sinus surgery and sinus ailment can be highly reliable. Under their guidance, the surgery risks of bleeding and damage to the skull and eyes will be rare. They use high-end systems to escape or overcome all the complications.
This article was written for WHN by Jessica Smith, who is a talented wordsmith, creative content creator, blogger, and health advocate.
As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide a medical diagnosis, recommendation, treatment, or endorsement. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
Opinion Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of WHN/A4M. Any content provided by guest authors is of their own opinion and is not intended to malign any religion, ethic group, club, organization, company, individual, or anyone or anything.
Content may be edited for style and length.
References/Sources/Materials provided by: