Acute sinusitis may be treated with home remedies and medications such as corticosteroids and nasal sprays, but symptoms can return. If symptoms persist for more than 8 weeks or continue to return despite treatment, the condition is said to be chronic or recurring, respectively.
Balloon sinuplasty is an innovative technique that can resolve chronic and recurring sinusitis. It is the opinion of Dr. Lee Mandel of South Florida Sinus and Allergy Center, that there are several benefits for patients and for healthcare providers.
The effectiveness of a procedure is essential when comparing it to other alternatives. Balloon sinuplasty is highy effective, with a 96 percent success rate. Only 5 percent of patients require additional balloon sinuplasty procedures. For those few patients who need to move on to another procedure, a benefit of the balloon sinuplasty is that it does not preclude any other treatments.
In part because of its relatively low cost due to simple instruments and local anesthesia, the procedure is also cost-effective. Further savings occur because when the procedure is a success, patients no longer need to come in for regular care when they experience symptoms of sinusitis. Insurance often covers balloon sinuplasty because it is recognized as an effective and safe procedure, particularly for our patients in Plantation & Fort Lauderdale FL.
The closest alternative to balloon sinuplasty is functional endoscopic sinus surgery, or FESS. FESS involves clearing the sinuses with wire catheters. The result can include bone, cartilage, and skin tissue being removed and leading to longer recovery times for patients. With balloon sinuplasty, Dr. Lee Mandel opens the sinuses with an inflatable balloon, and patients have less damage to their sinuses and surrounding areas.
Because it is only minimally invasive, the balloon sinuplasty is relatively safe. Fewer than 0.1 percent of patients experience serious complications, and there is less bleeding than with FESS.
Ability to Take Place in the Office
Balloon sinuplasty is a procedure that requires simple instruments that ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctors can store in their offices. Patients can often get their procedures done at their own ENT’s clinic and avoid the need for a hospital stay. At the same time, balloon sinuplasty can also be performed in hospitals and emergency rooms.
While FESS takes place under general anesthesia, balloon sinuplasty requires only local anesthesia, often given through a nasal spray when patients enter the clinic. The use of local anesthesia combined with less damage to patient tissues during the procedure allows for faster recovery. Patients can often return to work the next day or with only a couple of days off, and many can travel within two weeks.
Depending on patients’ needs, doctors can choose between different balloon catheters with different balloon sizes and pressure options. These devices are so small that doctors can store each of their balloon catheter options in their office for use at any time.
Visualization using attached lights, CT imaging, and/or fluoroscopy techniques help doctors place devices properly before inflating balloons. This precision also allows for a more gentle procedure. Doctors can control the tip better and use their sense of feel to determine placement and movement.
Balloon sinuplasty is known to be a safe and effective procedure for treating chronic sinusitis. It can help patients who may not be eligible for FESS, and it has numerous other benefits.
Call South Florida Sinus and Allergy Center today with any questions you may have.