Balloon Sinus Surgery

In Office Sinus Balloon Dilation

What is Balloon Sinus Dilation?

Balloon Sinus Dilation is a new surgical procedure that can be performed in an office setting for treatment of chronic sinusitis. It is a quick, safe and minimally invasive procedure, performed under local anesthesia. A small balloon is inserted into the nose using an endoscope and video camera. The balloon is then inflated to dilate and open the sinus pathway and allow for better drainage from the sinus cavity. The recovery period is generally 1-2 days and is appropriate for patients with chronic sinus symptoms who have not responded well to treatment with medications like antibiotics, allergy medications or nasal steroid sprays. It differs from traditional functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS), which is usually performed in an outpatient surgery center setting and involves general anesthesia. Balloon procedures can often be done in conjunction with other nasal/sinus procedures such as a septoplasty, turbinate resection or polypectomy.

Symptoms of Sinusitis:

Nasal congestion Facial pain

Nasal drainage
Inflammation Pain in upper teeth
Sore Throat

Bad Breath

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: How long does the procedure take?

A: Expect to be in our office for about 2 hours total. The patient will take prescribed medication about 90 minutes before arriving for the procedure. We begin by administering several local anesthetics to numb the area prior to surgery. This takes approximately 45 minutes. The actual balloon procedure usually only lasts about 30 minutes, depending on how many sinus cavities are being dilated and whether other procedures are being done in conjunction with the balloon dilation. After the procedure, the patient is monitored for an additional 10-15 minutes and then released to go home. Because you will be on several medications, we do require a family member or friend to drive you to and from the appointment.

Q: What is the recovery period?

A: The recovery period for sinus balloon dilation is usually 1-2 days. During this time the patient should refrain from extreme physical activity. Flying is not recommended for about 2 weeks following the procedure. Expected symptoms after sinus balloon dilation include nasal congestion (rebound congestion), nasal bleeding, headache, difficulty breathing through the nose. These symptoms usually improve after a few days. Traditional outpatient functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) typically has a 7 day recovery period, so balloon sinus dilation is much shorter.

Q: Does my insurance cover this procedure?

A: While some insurance companies still consider this procedure investigational or a non-covered service, most insurance companies, including Medicare, BlueCross, Aetna, UnitedHealthCare, Humana, Firstcare, UMC Team Choice and many others, do cover this procedure. One benefit of sinus balloon dilation is that patient’s often have a reduced out of pocket cost associated with performing this procedure in an office setting. Traditional functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) requires the use of an outpatient surgical facility and anesthesiologist, in addition to the otolaryngologist performing the surgery. With in-office balloon dilation surgery, there are no facility or anesthesia charges.

Q: What are the potential risks & complications for balloon dilation surgery?

A: As with any medical treatment, potential risks & complications exist. With both traditional FESS and sinus balloon dilation surgery, risks & complications are extremely low. These include, but are not limited to: post-operative facial pain, loss of vision or double vision, damage to nerves potentially causing temporary or prolonged number to the cheek, lip or teeth, facial bruising and swelling, dizziness, or cerebrospinal fluid leak. There is also a chance that the procedure may not improve sinus symptoms or that symptoms may recur at a later date.

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