Patients suffering from uncomfortable and even painful sinus-related symptoms can experience
immediate and long-lasting benefits from balloon sinuplasty, also commonly referred to as the
“smart sinus” procedure. Performed in a similar fashion to heart surgeons opening up clogged
arteries during balloon angioplasty, physicians open up clogged sinuses.
How Does Balloon Sinuplasty Work?
During this minimally invasive procedure, the doctor will insert a wire with a tiny flashlight on
the end into your sinus cavity. Next, they insert a thin flexible balloon catheter into the inflamed
sinus and slowly inflate to expand the opening of the sinus.
Once the sinus is opened the doctor will use saline solution to flush out built up pus and mucus
lodged in the sinus cavity. Patients report feeling an immediate decrease in pressure when this
occurs. While the balloon is in the sinus passage, it gently restructures and widens the walls of
the sinus passageway while maintaining the integrity of the lining. Once this process is complete,
the balloon mechanism is removed. The procedure relieves built up pressure and leaves the sinus
The balloon sinuplasty procedure, approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2005, has
shown significant and positive short and long-term results for many patients suffering from
chronic sinusitis, snoring, allergies, deviated septum and other sinus-related conditions.
Recover from Balloon Sinuplasty
Unlike traditional sinus surgery, there is no cutting or removal of bone. Generally performed as
an outpatient procedure in a hospital or office setting under local or general anesthesia, there is
almost zero downtime after the balloon sinusplasty procedure. Most patients return to work and
normal activities within a day or so. Some patients even report being able to drive themselves
home after the procedure.
Doctors generally prescribe an antibiotic to discourage infection and may also prescribe a pain
reliever in some cases; however, the balloon sinusplasty rarely causes excessive pain. You
should consult with your doctor before taking any additional over-the-counter pain reliever such
as ibuprofen or aspirin. You’ll also be prescribed a saline rinse to use for 3-7 days following the
procedure to keep your sinuses lubricated and promote fast healing.
Possible Complications of Balloon Sinuplasty
Minimal complications have been reported and include some bloody draining or discharge, mild
swelling, fatigue or congestion. After a balloon sinusplasty procedure, your doctor will instruct
you not to blow your nose for 24 hours, avoid strenuous activity, and sleep with your head
elevated to relieve discomfort from drainage. All in all, patients reported very few side effects
and those that did experience mild complications were symptom free within 5-7 days.
In a few cases, patients reported that the swelling persisted for several days and after the surgery
the appearance of the nose was altered slightly. And though most experience an improved sense
of smell after any sinus surgery or procedure, a few have reported that their sense of smell was
worse after the surgery.
Have more questions or want a consultation concerning balloon sinuplasty? Contact us today, we’re happy and ready to respond to any concerns.