There is a large part of the population that suffers from sinusitis. This is the condition where your sinuses, normally filled with air, get blocked and infected. It is characterized by a feeling of pressure, headaches, a stuffed nose and coughs. A new procedure called balloon sinuplasty is providing sufferers of sinusitis relief.
What is Balloon Sinuplasty?
Balloon sinuplasty is a procedure that was approved by the FDA in the mid-2000s. It is alternative to sinus surgery. It is a much less invasive process that involves using a small balloon to reopen sinus cavities. A small rod is inserted in to the nose with a camera and balloon attached. Inflating the balloon will reopen blocked sinuses and provide relief to sufferers of chronic sinusitis.
Advantages Over Traditional Surgery
The procedure has many advantages over traditional surgery. While surgery can involve a removal of a large amount of tissue, balloon sinuplasty does not. In fact, the procedure allows for a much quicker recovery time. Patients experience less bleeding and less pain versus traditional surgery.
An additional benefit of balloon sinuplasty is that it costs less. The savings are not only in the cost of the procedure, but in lost work. In many cases patients can go back to work the next day or even drive themselves home after the procedure has been completed.
Thinking Outside the Box
In the past if a patient had mild sinusitis symptoms, a doctor didn’t have many options. Due to the invasive nature of traditional surgery, it didn’t make sense to use that as at treatment. People who had frequent headaches or sinus pressure were typically treated with medication. Sinus sprays with mild steroids are the usual treatment for this condition. Balloon sinuplasty offers another option for suffers of sinusitis, and often the symptoms are kept at bay for much longer.
There are some cases where balloon sinuplasty may not help. If there are polyps in the sinus cavity, a deviated septum or severe blockage then the procedure may not be effective. These more severe cases need to be treated with more rigorous procedures. This is something that a doctor is going to be able to determine relatively easily during an exam.
Is the Procedure Safe?
Even though the process has been available for about a decade, it was not widely used until recently. There were many insurance companies that viewed the procedure as experimental and were unwilling to reimburse patients for it. That is beginning to change.
More and more procedures have been successfully completed in recent years. Because of the high success rate, insurance companies are starting to take notice. If you couple the reduced costs, quick recovery rates, less need for pain medication and positive results for patients, it is easy to see how the procedure is only going to become more commonplace.
These positive results are going to have more physicians looking into the procedure. It is a highly effective and safe tool to combat a rather common condition among patients. For more information or to make an appointment, contact us today.