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The simple act of breathing is not so easy for those who suffer from sinusitis, an infection or inflammation of the sinuses. Nearly 32 million cases of chronic sinusitis are reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) each year. But a procedure called balloon sinuplasty™ may provide relief for those who experience frequent sinusitis, freeing them from common symptoms, such as painful headaches and nasal congestion.
What Is Balloon Sinuplasty?
Unlike conventional sinus surgery, which cuts away tissue to open the blockage, balloon sinuplasty improves breathing without incisions. It’s very similar to the way doctors expand clogged arteries — using a balloon. During sinuplasty, a thin, flexible tube — called a catheter — is equipped with a small balloon at the end. The device is guided through the nostrils into the blocked sinus. The balloon is then inflated just enough to expand the sinus area, causing the opening to become wider and allowing for easier breathing.
What Are the Benefits?
Sinuplasty is an outpatient procedure performed under general anesthesia. Because no cutting of tissue is involved, there’s less risk of developing scar tissue that could reblock the sinus — a concern with conventional surgery. And, recovery time from sinuplasty is fast. Many people can resume their normal activities the next day, as compared to weeks later with traditional surgery.
If you suffer from frequent sinusitis, talk with your doctor to see if sinuplasty can help you.
For More Information
Sharp Grossmont Hospital offers balloon sinuplasty as an option to conventional sinus surgery. The procedure is done at the Grossmont Plaza Surgery Center, adjacent to the hospital. 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.