What is sinusitis?
The sinuses are cavities in the skull with air-filled sacks in the forehead, behind the bones of the upper face, between the eyes, and behind the forehead, nose and cheeks. The sinuses insulate the skull, reduce its weight, and help the voice to sound resonant. The sinuses are covered with a mucus layer and hair lined cells that keep out bacteria and other potentially harmful substances.
The sinuses have small openings in the inside of the nose that allow mucous to drain. Anything that prevents mucus flow can cause a buildup and blockage. The blockage can then lead to an inflammation of the sinus membrane called sinusitis.
Sinusitis can cause facial pain, pressure, congestion, mucus discharge, tooth pain, decreased smell or taste, headache, fatigue, sore throat, fever. If symptoms persist, sinusitis can lead to a bacterial infection.
What is balloon sinuplasty?
Balloon sinuplasty is an improved and less invasive surgical method to treat chronic sinusitis that does not respond to other therapies. Balloon sinuplasty surgeries use a balloon catheter (a small tube with a tiny balloon on the end) and an endoscope (a small tube with a camera on the end) inserted through the nostrils. Once inserted into the patient’s nostrils, the balloon catheter is inflated enough to open up blocked sinus passageways, restoring normal sinus drainage. Inflating the balloon widens the walls of the sinus passageway without further damaging the membrane or requiring tissue or bone removal. Once the passageway is open, the balloon is deflated and the catheter and endoscope are removed from the nostrils.
What are the benefits of balloon sinuplasty over other more invasive surgeries?
Balloon sinuplasty is an outpatient procedure performed by qualified Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) physicians using general anesthesia (the patient is completely asleep). The procedure offers several benefits over traditional procedures, such as: decreased bruising or swelling, no scars (there are no incisions necessary), reduced bleeding, and improved recovery time. In addition, the balloon sinuplasty procedure does not limit the use of other sinusitis treatments or surgeries that may become necessary in the future.
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