Sinus infections often occur with illness. When a sinus is blocked and unable to drain, infections can develop due to areas of trapped bacteria and viruses. Some people develop chronic sinus infections due to their particular sinus anatomy. Doctors typically strive to manage sinus infections using medication, but chronic use of some medications can have unwanted side effects. Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that can be used to open the sinus cavities and allow better drainage. These are three things that patients should know about this procedure:
1. You will be sedated during your balloon sinuplasty.
Because balloon sinuplasty is minimally invasive, ENT doctors usually prefer to perform the procedure while their patients are awake. Balloon sinuplasty can be completed in a doctor's office. Before the surgery begins, you will be given medication to induce conscious sedation. This medication will help you remain comfortable and calm throughout your procedure, in addition to helping you forget the procedure once it's over. Conscious sedation is less risky than general anesthesia, and patients typically recover faster from this type of sedation.
2. Your ENT doctor will use medication to facilitate the balloon sinuplasty procedure.
Before your balloon sinuplasty begins, your doctor will administer a nasal decongestant. They will then administer an anesthetic spray into your nostrils to numb the area before applying a topical anesthetic to your nasal cavity. The use of local anesthesia will ensure that your balloon sinuplasty is pain-free. You will feel pressure as the procedure commences, but if you feel any discomfort, you should let your doctor know so they can administer additional anesthesia.
3. Your doctor will use a balloon to widen the opening of one or more sinus cavities.
Once your nasal cavity has been fully numbed, your doctor will insert a balloon that is guided by a thin wire. The deflated balloon will be placed in the opening of the sinus cavity to be treated. Once the balloon is in place, your doctor will inflate it to dilate your sinus cavity. This procedure can provide long-lasting relief for congestion and sinus infections by widening the opening of your sinuses. Depending on the severity of your condition, your doctor may need to inflate the balloon more than once. Balloon sinuplasty procedures are often preferred over other types of sinus treatments because they are less invasive than other surgeries that require the removal of bone and soft tissue.