Balloon Septoplasty

Balloon septoplasty is a noninvasive office procedure to correct the deviated septum. It involves placing a balloon in either nostril and placing it against the deviation of the septum. The balloon is inflated, deflated, and removed. This is repeated on the contralateral side and again as needed to get the septum into a midline position. Balloon septoplasty can be performed at the same time as other nasal surgeries, including balloon sinuplasty, removal of polyps, turbinate reduction, and Rhinoplasty.

Frequently Asked Questions

The wall that divides the left and right side of the nasal cavity is called the septum. It is made of thin bone and cartilage and if “bent” or “deviated,” it can cause nasal obstruction and other sinus related problems. Deviated nasal septums have been traditionally repaired in the operating room with a procedure called a septoplasty. However, there is another option to repair the septum called Balloon Septoplasty. Dr. Nathan E. Nachlas and Dr. Melyssa Hancock utilize similar balloon technology as that used in Balloon Sinuplasty to repair the septum as a less invasive way to correct deviated septums.

Balloon Septoplasty is an office procedure performed to straighten a deviated septum. A special balloon has been designed to extend non-invasive techniques to septal surgery. During this procedure, the balloon is inserted into one side of the nose, inflated, deflated, and removed. The procedure is then repeated on the other side. The procedure can be done under local anesthesia, although at the Nose and Sinus Institute of Boca Raton, all nose and sinus procedures are performed under a light anesthetic. When done in this manner, patients do not feel any discomfort. No packing is required. The surgeon will usually leave in thin splints to hold the corrected septum in place during healing. These splints are normally removed within one week of the procedure.

A Balloon Septoplasty is used to correct a deviated nasal septum. A deviated septum may cause one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Blockage of one or both nostrils
  • Nasal congestion (sometimes one-sided)
  • Frequent nosebleeds
  • Frequent sinus infections
  • Snoring
  • Other sinonasal symptoms such as facial pain or pressure, headaches, and postnasal drip

The ideal patient for Balloon Septoplasty has complaints of nasal obstruction partially or totally caused by deviation of the septum. Careful inspection by the provider can tell whether the septal deformity is amenable to this noninvasive procedure.

There are a number of factors that determine if you qualify for a Balloon Septoplasty or if you would be better treated by a traditional septoplasty. Some of the major factors include the severity of the deflection and where the deviation occurs in the septum. Dr. Nathan E. Nachlas and Dr. Melyssa Hancock can determine if you have a deviated nasal septum and will discuss with you personalized treatment options.

Both Balloon Septoplasty and traditional Septoplasty are procedures designed to fix a deviated nasal septum. The goal of these procedures is to increase the airflow through the nose and alleviate nasal obstruction.

In a traditional Septoplasty, the mucosa (lining) of the septum is elevated off of the underlying bone and cartilage. The deviated bone and cartilage are straightened with specially designed instruments. This procedure typically takes 30-60 minutes to perform. Sometimes sutures are used to assist with the straightening techniques.

Balloon Septoplasty utilizes the noninvasive nature of an airway balloon to gently reposition the deviated septum. It is an office procedure performed at the Nose and Sinus Institute of Boca Raton under a light anesthetic so that the patient feels no discomfort. The airway balloon is passed through the nostril and positioned over the area of deviation. It is inflated, deflated, and removed. The procedure is then repeated on the other side. The airway is then inspected for patency. Any persistent bony spurs can be removed directly. By avoiding the extensive dissection of traditional septoplasty, recovery is reduced significantly.

Both the Balloon Septoplasty and traditional Septoplasty procedures may be performed with Balloon Sinuplasty or Turbinate Reduction, depending on your condition.

Septoplasty procedures are done on the inside of the nose to restore breathing. Rarely, the deformity extends to the bridge of the nose and a more extensive procedure is necessary; sometimes, a Rhinoplasty may be necessary to straighten the outside of the nose. As a rule, straightening the septum does not affect the appearance of the nose.

Understanding the complexities of both the inside and outside of the nose are imperative to providing real, long lasting relief of sinonasal symptoms. Dr. Nathan Nachlas and Dr. Melyssa Hancock have extensive experience in the treatment of the nose and sinuses and thoroughly evaluate every patient prior to recommending a treatment plan.

There are four major areas that are studied in evaluating a patient for nasal obstruction: the nasal valves, the septum, the turbinates, and the sinuses. Dr. Nachlas and Dr. Hancock will thoroughly evaluate each of these areas. Most of the time, nasal obstruction is multifactorial, and each problem is addressed during the same office visit in a painless, minimally invasive fashion to provide relief. Other nose and sinus procedures commonly performed during the same session as the Balloon Septoplasty to provide comprehensive relief include:

Addressing any cosmetic concerns you have about your nose with a Rhinoplasty surgery can also be done during the same operative session. The Nose and Sinus Institute of Boca Raton pioneered the Total Nose Approach™ to sinonasal surgery where all of your functional sinonasal complaints and cosmetic concerns can be addressed during one surgery, with one anesthetic, and one recovery.

One of the major benefits of Balloon Septoplasty is the short recovery time. Whether done alone or in combination with other procedures such as a Balloon Sinuplasty procedure, patients go home the same day and most are back to work and back to their daily activities the next day.


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