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What is Balloon Sinus Surgery?

ear nose throat specialist explaining details of sinus surgery to his patient

Balloon sinus surgery is a procedure where your sinuses get freed from mucus or pus accumulation. It is best for people with chronic sinusitis, especially if their other treatments are ineffective. It is a straightforward procedure that does not involve cutting any tissue or bones.

The balloon sinus surgery procedure

The balloon sinus surgery mostly gets carried out in an ear, nose and throat (ENT) office. A general or local sedative can be used in this procedure. But before you go into the surgery, you should first consult your ear, nose and throat doctor to be aware of what to anticipate.

During the surgery, the ENT doctor attaches a small flashlight to the end of a wire and inserts it into your sinus cavity. The flashlight enables your ENT to see what they are doing. After that, your ENT will insert a thin and flexible balloon catheter into the passage of your sinus. Then proceed to inflate the balloon to enlarge the sinus opening.

Thereafter, the ENT doctor will then use a saline solution to flush out mucus and accumulated pus in the sinus cavity, and you will feel a pressure decrease. The inflated balloon in the sinus passage slowly restructures all the bones that surround the sinuses. When the doctor is through with the process, they will deflate and remove the balloon, freeing the sinus from pressure and leaving it widened.

Healing and support

After the balloon sinus surgery is completed, you can go back to your daily activities within a day or sometimes after two days. You can even drive your car when going home after the surgery.

A week after the balloon sinus surgery, a discharge or bloody drainage might start coming from your nose. It is normal to experience such after the surgery, and you should not be alarmed. Congestion, swelling and fatigue are also some symptoms that you might experience. You should expect these after the procedure; however, they do not take long to disappear. In a span of five to seven days, these symptoms will have disappeared.

Your ENT should instruct you not to blow your nose for the next 24 hours after the surgery. Similarly, you should avoid all hard labor for a week and elevate your head when you are sleeping to ease the discomfort. Do not be hard on yourself for a week after the balloon sinus procedure. Also, you should monitor how you feel and be very careful.

If you want to recover faster, follow what your ENT doctor instructs you to do. The ENT doctor will give you an antibiotic to prevent infections in your sinuses. Ensure that you take these drugs as recommended by the ENT doctor. The doctor will also provide a saline solution to you to lubricate your sinuses and help them heal.