Balloon Sinuplasty is another way to treat patients with chronic sinusitis who have not responded well to medical therapies. This procedure uses a small, flexible balloon catheter to open up blocked sinus passageways. Once inflated, the balloon gently restructures and widens the walls of the passageway. This results in less tissue trauma than other procedures, and the natural sinus openings are preserved.

Balloon Sinuplasty is not for removing polyps or for people with significant scarring.

What to expect

Balloon Sinuplasty is performed under general anesthesia. The doctor will use an endoscope—a thin, hollow, lighted tube that allows him or her to see the sinuses on a video screen—to guide a catheter through the nostril and sinus cavity, with a piece of wire and a tiny sinus balloon attached. The balloon is inflated, expanding the sinus openings.

The entire procedure is performed through the nostrils, so you most likely will go home the same day.

How to Prepare

The doctor will advise you if any medications need to be discontinued before the procedure. You will not be allowed to eat or drink anything after midnight the evening before the procedure.

You will have to arrange for a ride home. Since no tissue or bone is removed, there may be less bleeding than with other procedures, although some bleeding and drainage after the surgery is normal. A humidifier is encouraged to keep the nose moist. The doctor will advise you about any follow-up visits and when you can return to work.