An Inside Look at Balloon Sinuplasty

Balloon sinuplasty, also known as balloon catheter dilation surgery, is a procedure that helps clear blocked sinuses. This procedure is still pretty new, but it was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2005. It’s become known as a “smart sinus” procedure due to its benefits. 

Balloon sinuplasty is usually recommended for people with chronic sinusitis after other treatments haven’t been effective in providing the patient with relief. While balloon sinuplasty is considered a type of sinus surgery, we think of it more like a sinus procedure, because there is no cutting and no removal of any bones or tissue. 

About The Surgery

A balloon sinuplasty can be done under local anesthesia in a doctor’s office or under general anesthesia in a surgical facility. After evaluation, patients can talk to their doctor about anesthesia options and choose a treatment plan that is right for them. To have the best possible results, we feel it is important to be very comfortable during the procedure. Using our Non-narcotic analgesia protocol, most patients equate the office experience to that of a dental procedure. There are also many types of balloon technology systems out there, so it’s important to be knowledgeable about your latest options. We prefer balloon devices that are coupled to CT scan navigation systems, allowing the doctor to track exactly where the balloon is going using the patient’s current CT scan images.  Currently we are loving the Medtronic NuVent EM Balloon Sinuplasty system with its electromagnetic stereotactic CT navigation for its precise and proven in-office tracking abilities.  

During the procedure, the doctor inserts a fiber optic scope with a tiny flashlight at the end into the sinus cavity so that