Balloon Sinuplasty

Balloon Sinuplasty and Computer-Assisted Balloon Sinuplasty are procedures done to relieve sinus suffering. Symptoms of chronic rhinosinusitis include nasal obstruction, nasal congestion, headaches, facial pressure, discolored nasal drainage, and episodic sinus flare-ups. Typically performed under local or light anesthesia, a small balloon is used to expand the sinus opening and clear blocked sinus passageways. These minimally invasive procedures take less than one hour, require no cutting or removal of bones or tissue, and allow most patients return to work the next day.

Many of the techniques currently used to address chronic rhinosinusitis were pioneered at the Nose and Sinus Institute of Boca Raton. In fact, Dr. Nathan E. Nachlas performed the first computer-assisted balloon sinuplasty in the United States here. These techniques are considered the gold standard of care in alleviating sinus suffering.

Frequently Asked Questions

Balloon Sinuplasty is one of the most frequently performed procedures by sinus surgeons today. It is a natural outgrowth of minimally invasive sinus surgery (MISS), which was introduced to the United States at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1985. The Nose and Sinus Institute’s Medical Director, Dr. Nachlas, was the Chief Resident and Assistant Chief of Service of the Department of Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery at the Johns Hopkins Hospital when MISS was introduced. Over the past four decades, Dr. Nachlas and the team at the Nose and Sinus Institute of Boca Raton has been involved in research that focuses on continually optimizing minimally invasive options.

The Balloon Sinuplasty technique built on MISS. The technology was developed by the industry leaders who developed balloon treatments to relieve blockage in heart arteries. Rather than using cutting tools to relieve sinus blockage, Balloon Sinuplasty accomplishes this by inserting a small balloon into the site of the blockage; the balloon is then inflated, deflated, and removed. This process dilates the blocked opening. The NSIBR team was involved in original research demonstrating the safety and efficacy of balloon sinuplasty, as well as confirming the long-term success of dilation of the affected sinuses and long-term relief of the chronic sinusitis symptoms.

One of the most significant benefits of Balloon Sinuplasty technology has been the gradual shift of sinonasal intervention from the hospital or outpatient setting to the office setting. Along with this shift has come further improvement in recovery times and greater patient satisfaction.

In general, Balloon Sinuplasty is recommended for patients who have chronic sinusitis that persists despite medical treatment such as antibiotics and steroids, or who have recurrent acute sinusitis at least three times each year.

Patients with chronic sinusitis (“chronic” refers to the total duration of symptoms, which is three or more months) present with a variety of complaints depending upon which sinuses are involved and the coexistence of other sinonasal problems, such as a deviated nasal septum or turbinate enlargement. Symptoms include nasal obstruction, nasal congestion, facial pressure, facial pain, headache, pressure around the eyes, chronic drainage, and recurrent infections. Quality sleep requires a patent nasal airway as well as a patent oral airway, and patients with chronic sinusitis often have exacerbation of snoring or obstructive sleep apnea as a result of their sinonasal issues.

Prior to the recommendation of Balloon Sinuplasty, optimal medical management should be undertaken. If a bacterial infection is suspected, then antibiotics should be administered. Steroid nasal sprays, and sometimes systemic (oral) steroids, are often prescribed to decrease the inflammation of the nose and sinuses. Saltwater rinses or sprays may provide relief by facilitating drainage of the nose and keeping the airway clean. Other medical options include oral decongestants (which may cause palpitations and need to be used with caution in patients with high blood pressure) and antihistamine nasal sprays. Allergy evaluation should be performed in order to optimize the treatment of allergic rhinitis to adequately control allergy-related symptoms. Allergy health is always emphasized to patients, even in those who ultimately undergo balloon sinuplasty.

A great majority of sinus sufferers in whom conventional and optimal medical management has not successfully relieved their symptoms find their quality of life dramatically improved following Balloon Sinuplasty. The fact that a relatively painless, minimally or noninvasive procedure can so improve the quality of life has made this procedure one of the most commonly performed in office procedures in the country.

To best determine if you are a candidate for Balloon Sinuplasty, please schedule your consultation today!

Traditional sinus surgery actually refers to sinus procedures performed prior to minimally invasive sinus surgery (MISS), the latter being introduced at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1985. Before 1985, surgical intervention for patients with chronic sinusitis involved surgically removing the diseased sinus. This might involve incisions beneath the upper lip, around the nose and eyes, and across the top of the head. Minimally invasive sinus surgery (MISS) changed that. After 1985, the diseased sinus was no longer removed; instead, the blockage of the sinus was removed, allowing the sinus to be properly aerated and return to normal in most cases. Initially, the removal of the sinus blockage was performed with cutting instruments and incisions. With the advent of Balloon Sinuplasty, blockages could be relieved without cutting or removing tissue. The Balloon Sinuplasty was shown to be extremely successful in providing long-term relief of sinus blockage.

Watch a video on the Balloon Sinuplasty procedure

The Nose and Sinus Institute of Boca Raton prides itself in performing all sinus and nasal procedures in their state-of-the-art operating room. Being a State-registered Level 3 facility means that our patients are cared for at the very highest level. Patients are given a gentle, quick-acting anesthetic by a Board-Certified Anesthesiologist so that they feel absolutely no discomfort during the procedure. Patients typically resume all activities the day after the procedure.

Dr. Nachlas and Dr. Hancock are able to evaluate the external and internal anatomy of your nose and sinuses, including the septum, turbinates, and nasal valves, and address any problems identified in a minimally invasive fashion. Other nose and sinus procedures commonly performed during the same session as the Balloon Sinuplasty to provide comprehensive relief include:

Addressing any cosmetic concerns you have about your nose with a Rhinoplasty surgery can absolutely be done during the same operative session. The Nose and Sinus Institute of Boca Raton pioneered the Total Nose Approach™ to sinonasal surgery more than three decades ago, when, for the first time, minimally invasive sinus surgery was performed at the same time as rhinoplasty surgery. The Total Nose Approach™ to surgery means that all of your functional sinonasal complaints and cosmetic concerns can be addressed during one surgery, with one anesthetic, and one recovery.

In addition, other procedures not related to the nose and sinuses that can be done at the same time and include the following:

  • Facelift: Reverses the visible signs of aging in the face such as jowls and sagging or loose skin
  • Neck Lift: Reduces or removes loose or sagging neck skin, excess fat in the lower face or chin, and other visible signs of aging in the neck
  • Brow Lift: Treats drooping brows and deep wrinkles of the forehead, restoring a smoother, more youthful contour to the upper portion of the face
  • Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty): Eliminates excess skin from the upper eyelids and removes under-eye bags and redundant skin from the lower eyelids
  • Submental Liposuction: Eliminates excess fat causing the appearance of a double chin and improves the contours of the chin and jawline
  • Botox: Smooths fine lines, wrinkles, and furrows caused by excessive muscle movements
  • Dermal Fillers: Enhances the facial appearance without surgery by restoring volume to create a more youthful facial contour
  • Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Hair Loss Treatment: Stimulates new hair growth and improves the health and strength of existing hair

Computer Assisted Balloon Sinuplasty adds stereotactic (computer) guidance to precisely locate the position of the balloon prior to dilation. It adds extra precision to the Balloon Sinuplasty procedure. Computer Assisted Balloon Sinuplasty was first performed in the United States in 2014 at the Nose and Sinus Institute of Boca Raton. It wouldn’t have been possible without the development of a computer guidance system that could work efficiently in an office setting by the medical industry and biomedical engineers . With today’s technology, the patient gets a ‘miniCAT’ scan (about one tenth the radiation of a normal CAT scan) and that data is directly loaded onto the operating room computer. Using a computer guided balloon, the exact area of blockage is identified and dilated. In procedures requiring removal of polyps, the removal is also performed under precise computer guidance. At the Nose and Sinus Institute of Boca Raton, computer guidance is used for virtually all sinus procedures.

Balloon Sinuplasty and other related functional nose and sinus procedures are typically covered by every insurance company. However, cosmetic procedures performed at the same time are not covered. Any patient responsibility would be determined prior to the procedures.

One of the major benefits of Balloon Sinuplasty recovery is the considerably shorter time compared to traditional surgery. The procedure can be performed under local or light anesthesia and takes less than one hour. Patients return home shortly after the procedure and most are back to full activity the next day.


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