Sinusitis is one of the most common problems in this country. Typically patients treat themselves with OTC meds even though their symptoms are often not due to sinusitis. When this doesn't work the patient usually sees a physician. If the doctor thinks this is an acute bacterial sinusitis the patient is then given antibiotics and often some combination of decongestants, oral steroids, and nasal steroids. Most of the time this resolves the problem. As you are well aware, acute sinusitis can progress to either recurrent acute sinusitis or chronic sinusitis. Patients who have this have persistent nasal stuffiness, chronic post nasal drainage, rhinorrhea, pressure in the face, and sinus headaches. In years past many of these patients were treated with fairly aggressive sinus surgery removing what was thought to be irreversible sinus membrane disease. More recently a much less aggressive type of surgery, which spares the reversible sinus membranes, has been used. This is called Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery or FESS. It has been shown that many membranes that were thought to be irreversibly diseased are indeed reversible; therefore, one of the main goals of surgery is to simply restore normal drainage from the sinuses. Often the diseased membranes will then return to normal. Most recently it has been shown that simply restoring normal drainage from the sinuses without removing any tissue will often be effective. Using balloons (the idea was borrowed from cardiologists) to open up clogged sinus drainage routes has been quite effective. Sinuses that have been difficult to get to, such as the frontals and sphenoids, can often be successfully treated in this manner.
At the present time many otolaryngologists are treating appropriate patients with balloon sinuplasty in the office. This would include patients with recurrent or chronic mild to moderate sinus disease, patients with symptoms of chronic or recurrent sinus headaches and pressure over the sinuses, patients with chronic stuffy nose, or patients with chronic drainage. This can also be used on older and more fragile patients who could not tolerate surgery or general anesthesia, or patients who cannot get off of anticoagulants or other medications that might preclude general surgery or general anesthesia. This procedure has many advantages. It is the most minimally invasive procedure for chronic sinusitis. It is done with only topical and local anesthesia and mild sedation. There is only very minimal pain during the procedure and almost no pain afterwards. It is far less expensive than more traditional FESS which is done under general anesthesia and in a hospital or ambulatory surgery center. Also, as mentioned, patients with medical conditions which would preclude FESS or a general anesthetic can be done in this manner. In order to offer the latest and most current methods of treating sinus disease, I have been doing these in the office with very good results and with no complications for quite some time. If you have patients who have chronic sinus headaches and pressure over the sinuses, chronic drainage, or chronic stuffy nose that you think could be treated in this way I would be happy to see them. If you have any comments or would like to discuss this further, I would be glad to discuss this with you.
Are You Living With Recurring or Persisting Sinus Pain and Pressure?
Millions of Americans suffer from sinusitis-an inflammation or swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses. This swelling can prevent your sinuses from draining. Mucus and fluid buildup inside the sinuses can lead to sinus infections and more inflammation and pain. Sinusitis symptoms include:
- Facial congestion/fullness
- Nasal blockage
- Nasal discharge
- Dental Pain
- Bad Breath
For many years, patients suffering from recurring or persisting sinusitis were left with two choices:
- Manage their symptoms with ongoing rounds of medical therapy. Some patients are dissatisfied with the frequent rounds of antibiotics, steroids and decongestants, or have difficulty tolerating the side effects of medical therapy.
- Undergo endoscopic sinus surgery to expand the sinus drainage pathways by having tissue and bone removed with small cutting instruments. Recovery can often take 7 to 70 days.1• 2
Balloon sinus dilation offers an effective alternative for appropriate sinusitis patients who are tired of ongoing medical therapy and cannot or do not want to undergo surgery, but want lasting relief with a quick recovery.
Why Choose Balloon Sinus Dilation
Gently opens blocked sinuses
Balloon sinus dilation uses a small balloon to gently open and reshape your sinus drainage pathways to restore normal sinus drainage.
Instant relief that lasts
Balloon sinus dilation keeps sinus passages open, offering long-term relief from the problems associated with sinusitis. Multiple studies show patients experienced less facial pain, improved sleep, less use of antibiotics, fewer visits to their doctor, and were more able to perform day-to-day activities at home and work.
Convenient, comfortable office procedure
Balloon sinus dilations can be performed in your ENT physician's office. A typical procedure lasts less than 45 minutes.
Quick recovery and cost effective
Many patients resume normal activities the same day. Depending on your insurance coverage, the in-office procedure may reduce the procedure costs you pay.
Ask your physician about balloon sinus dilation options from Entellus Medical.
Karen struggled with sinus and allergy problems for years. Difficulty breathing at night led to restless sleep
and rough mornings. Karen explored a variety of sinus treatments that left her tired, drowsy and "disappointed." After seeing an ad for balloon sinus dilation, Karen decided to give it a try. The sinus procedure was quite comfortable for Karen, and she is now able to get a good night's sleep. "Mornings are good now!"