Balloon sinuplasty

Balloon SinuplastyA breakthrough in sinus relief — without major surgery.

Until recently, the millions of people who suffer with chronic sinus pain and pressure from blocked sinuses had few options for long-term relief, other than major surgery.

But now, there is an alternative. Balloon sinuplasty -- often referred to as “angioplasty for the nose" -- is a less invasive procedure for the treatment of chronic sinusitis that is now available at Cornerstone Regional Hospital.

Normally, a person's sinuses produce mucus that drains through small openings into the nasal passages. When people have chronic sinusitis, swelling in both the nose and sinuses block that drainage.

“Traditional sinus surgery seeks to clear blocked sinuses by removing bone and tissue to enlarge the sinus opening,” says Eugene S. Mackie, MD, an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist (otolaryngologist) at Cornerstone Regional Hospital. “Recovery from this surgery is often associated with pain and scarring.”

Benefits of balloon sinuplasty

With balloon sinuplasty, ENT physicians open inflamed sinuses in the same way that heart surgeons open up blocked arteries during balloon angioplasty. The procedure is less invasive than traditional sinus surgery, and is usually effective at relieving symptoms of chronic sinusitis.

An endoscopic procedure performed under general anesthesia in an outpatient setting, balloon sinuplasty does not require incisions and cutting or the removal of bone and tissue. “There is generally less pain, risk of infection, blood loss, bruising and swelling,” says Dr. Mackie, who performs the procedure. “Many patients are able to return to their normal activities in less time than they would from traditional ‘open’ sinus surgery.”

How balloon sinuplasty works

Under general anesthesia, a physician inserts a guide wire catheter equipped with a tiny balloon through the nostril in order to gain access to the blocked sinus passageway. Once inside, the balloon is inflated, gently opening and widening the sinus passageway. The balloon is then deflated and withdrawn, leaving the sinus passageway open and restoring normal sinus drainage and function.

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