Everyone is acquainted with the discomfort of a stuffy nose from a sinus cold, but symptoms typically go away after a week to ten days. When stuffiness from sinus inflammation continues to be an issue for four to twelve weeks or inflammation returns four times over the span of a year, patients are typically diagnosed with chronic or recurrent rhinosinusitis (RS) or sinusitis.

Many of our Phoenix area patients seeking relief for the ongoing discomfort of RS undergo a balloon sinuplasty. Here is some basic information about balloon sinuplasty to make those considering this treatment more comfortable with what it is, how it works, its recovery time, and its rate of success.

What is a Balloon Sinuplasty?

This minimally invasive procedure is adapted from an endoscopic heart procedure known as angioplasty, which uses balloon catheters to dilate damaged or congested blood vessels near the heart. Instead of dilating a blood vessel, balloon sinuplasty is used to dilate sinus passages.

The procedure requires no cutting or loss of nasal tissues or bone, and recovery time is relatively short. Patients with chronic or severe sinusitis for which other medical therapies are unsuccessful often find relief from balloon sinuplasty.

How Balloon Sinuplasty Works

Patients undergoing a balloon sinuplasty will receive either a local or general anesthetic (depending upon their specific circumstances). After receiving anesthesia, a thin, flexible tube with a light and camera (endoscope) is inserted into any or all of the three sinus passages. Once the endoscope is in place, the doctor will advance a small balloon catheter over the guiding wire.

Next, the balloon will be inflated, creating pressure on the sinus wall until an opening is created. Saline is then used to rinse the sinus cavity of all the inflammation-causing mucus and debris. The procedure typically requires no more than an hour to perform.

Typical Recovery Time

Most patients return home after a few hours of recovery time. They are advised to keep their head elevated to assist continued drainage for the next 24 to 48 hours, and most can return to work and other normal activities within a couple of days.

Grogginess, tiredness, tenderness, congestion, and bloody drainage are common throughout the week following surgery, and your doctor will advise you against blowing your nose for a couple of days following the procedure as well.

Balloon Sinuplasty’s Rate of Success

Various published studies, referenced by Medical News Today, report that in one study, some adults saw an almost immediate improvement of symptoms one week after the procedure, and remained symptom-free in the year afterward. In another, adults saw improvement within three to six months after the procedure. An additional study of balloon sinuplasty in children indicated a 94 percent success rate with ongoing positive results in the year afterward.

Scottsdale ENT Conducts Balloon Sinuplasty Procedures in Arizona

Patients with acute or chronic sinusitis or RS can enjoy ongoing symptom relief from a minimally-invasive balloon sinuplasty procedure in a very short period of time with few side effects. As a part of our continuing commitment to the overall healthcare of our patients, the doctors at Scottsdale Ear, Nose, and Throat conduct balloon sinuplasty procedures in Arizona with a success that is comparable to those reported in various national studies.

If you or a loved one is considering Balloon Sinuplasty in Arizona, we are here to help. Contact us to schedule an appointment or alternatively, schedule a telemedicine appointment to discuss your options.

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Dr. Cheryl A. MacKechnie, MD

Dr. Cheryl A. MacKechnie is board certified in otolaryngology and treats a broad range of ear, nose, and throat conditions. A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, she completed her residency in otolaryngology, head and neck surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
    You don’t realise you’re walking with a rock in your shoe until you’re able to hear again – Regina’s Story

    Regina has suffered from hearing problems since she was an infant, recognized as regular chronic ear infections. And, as with unfortunate events, she has experienced a multitude of audiology catastrophes.

    It was many years before Regina crossed paths with Scottsdale Ear, Nose & Throat; where her lifetime of hearing problems was addressed effectively and treated with the delicate care that she desperately required.

    Regina’s journey began when she was taken to a regular paediatrician by her mother from a young age. Her ears were, what we describe as an audiologists recipe for disaster, ‘flushed out’.

    This dangerous procedure caused a nasty infection, which spread to her mastoid bone and, at the age of 15, she underwent a tympanoplasty mastoidectomy to stop the infection spreading. This only forbade her future struggles with hearing loss. 

    As with poor diagnosis, Regina was faced with another canaloplasty which didn’t work. Soon after, she received a BAHA, which is a cochlear implant in her skull that acts as a sound processor that detects sound and transforms it into vibrations. 

    However, suffering from a history of poor hearing care, she was unaware of the former issues her ear presented.

    By now, this would be described as any audiologists nightmare. But, we’re proud to have helped Regina on her road to optimum hearing and reconnect her to her loved ones.

    When she arrived at Scottsdale Ear, Nose & Throat it was evident that she was losing hearing on her right side. At this point, she was fitted with a ReSound hearing device, which provided the catalyst to a new and improved hearing.

    The first thing Regina noticed was the indefinite sound she had been making whilst emptying the dishwasher, completely unaware of the noise she was making!

    “I mean, the detail that I can hear now it’s like, Whoa, I didn’t realize I was making that much noise. I need to be quieter!”

    Treated with professional care, Regina received a comprehensive hearing assessment with Dr. Debra Hamila.

    “I just love, love, love Dr. Hamila, she is such a professional and loving person. I was so impressed with the office and what she did with the ReSound, I just love her.”

    Like many others, it takes years for people to realize they have a hearing problem. Regina described this moment as life-changing.

    “You don’t realise you’re walking with a rock in your shoe until you’re able to hear again. Especially now I’m a full-time Grammy Nanny, I can hear so much more and it has enriched my life incredibly.”

    What advice would you give to someone who is deliberating on taking the first step towards better hearing?

    “My advice to them would be to have a hearing test. Especially as we age our hearing goes down. It’s really unfortunate that people carry their pride and are not willing to learn to walk with the rock in their shoe. You don’t realise you’re waking with a rock in your shoe until you’re able to hear again.”

    Regina is one of many patients who has been impacted by our audiological services and we are proud to have been able to provide the tool towards better hearing and a lifetime of many more memories.