Sinusitis Treatment: Balloon Sinuplasty

An estimated 35 million Americans are affected by sinusitis every year, making it more common than heart disease or asthma. While medication treatments are available, surgery is often the best way to find permanent relief.

Though effective, traditional surgery involves removing bone and tissue to open the sinuses, which typically requires uncomfortable nasal packing to control bleeding and pain. Sharp HealthCare offers a new surgical option, called balloon sinuplasty™, for patients looking for a safe, minimally invasive way to find relief from sinusitis.

What Is Sinusitis?
Sinusitis is a swelling of the inner lining of the sinuses, which are the spaces between the bones in the face where air passes and mucus drains into the nose. Sinusitis is very common and feels similar to a head cold, with symptoms that include a stuffy or runny nose and headache.


For most people, sinusitis is a temporary condition that goes away with simple treatment, but if your symptoms persist, surgery is often the best way to find permanent relief.

Why Choose Balloon Sinuplasty?

  • Faster recovery, less pain and less blood loss than traditional surgery
  • FDA-approved treatment for sinusitis
  • No cutting or removal of bone or tissue
  • Performed as an outpatient procedure, so most patients return home the same day
  • Performed minimally invasively using soft, flexible balloons

How Is It Performed?
Balloon sinuplasty is performed safely and comfortably without cutting or removing bone or tissue. While under general anesthesia, an illuminated catheter is guided into the nasal cavity and further into the sinuses. An additional catheter with a balloon attached to it is then guided over the original catheter.

 Balloon Sinusplasty

Once the catheters are in the correct position, the balloon, which is made of a soft, flexible material, is gently inflated to open and reshape the blocked sinus passages. Once the sinuses are open, the balloon is deflated and replaced with another catheter that flushes out the sinuses' symptom-causing contents, such as pus or mucus.

Finally, both catheters are removed, leaving the sinuses open and clear.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is a candidate for balloon sinuplasty?
Patients who have been diagnosed with chronic sinusitis, which is defined as lasting for eight or more weeks, and are not responding to medication treatment are typically candidates for balloon sinuplasty. You and your doctor will discuss your medical history, potential risks and other factors to determine if this procedure is right for you.

What is the procedure like?
Balloon sinuplasty is a comfortable, safe procedure performed under general anesthesia, so patients don't feel anything.

How will I feel after?
After the procedure, many patients see an immediate reduction or disappearance of their sinusitis symptoms. Some patients experience mild discomfort from the catheter insertion, but this usually goes away within 48 hours. In the long term, most patients remain symptom-free and do not require additional treatment.

Location of Services
We offer balloon sinuplasty at the following Sharp hospitals in San Diego:

Find a San Diego Otolaryngologist

To learn more about balloon sinuplasty at Sharp HealthCare, or to find a participating surgeon, consult your primary care physician. For more information about ear, nose and throat care at Sharp or to find a Sharp-affiliated doctor, search for a San Diego otolaryngologist or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm.