Sinuplasty is a new technique in sinus surgery. Instead of using endoscopic instruments such as microdebriders and forceps, surgeons use balloons to dilate the sinus openings. This technique is similar to angioplasty, which is the use of balloons to open blocked blood vessels.
Why It's Performed
The benefits of sinuplasty include less trauma to the surrounding tissue and preserving the natural sinus openings. Recovery may also be faster than conventional sinus surgery. Not all patients are candidates for this type of sinus surgery. For example, sinuplasty is not effective in removing nasal polyps or in patients with extensive scarring of their sinus openings.
Goals of the Procedure
The goals of sinuplasty are similar to those in traditional sinus surgery and too treat recurrent and chronic sinusitis that is not improved with adequate medical therapy.
What to Expect
Sinus surgery with balloons may be performed in a hospital, outpatient surgery setting or in the physician’s office under local anesthesia. The physician inserts a guide catheter through the nostril and near the sinus opening under endoscopic visualization.
A flexible guide wire is then introduced into the targeted sinus to confirm access. Most guide wires have a light on the tip which may produce light transmission seen through the skin to help the physician with correct placement of the guide wire. Once access to a blocked sinus is confirmed, a balloon catheter is advanced over the guide wire and positioned in the blocked sinus opening for inflation. The balloon is inflated. If the procedure is successful, the sinus will remain open after the balloon is deflated and removed.