Frequently Asked Questions
Questions about sinusitis and balloon sinus dilation
1. What is sinusitis?
Sinusitis - also known as rhinosinusitis - is an inflammation of the tissue lining of the sinuses that afflicts millions of people each year.
Normally, sinuses are filled with air, but when sinuses become blocked and filled with fluid, pathogens (bacteria, viruses and fungi) can grow and cause an infection. Structural issues such as narrowed drainage anatomy are often associated with sinusitis.
2. What is balloon sinus dilation?
Balloon sinus dilation is a minimally invasive treatment for sinusitis. A small balloon is inserted into the narrowed sinus drainage pathway or opening, dilated, and deflated.
3. How does it work to treat sinusitis?
Blocked sinus drainage pathways prevent effective drainage and healing. By expanding sinus opening and drainage pathways, balloon sinus dilation restores drainage.
4. How long does the balloon sinus dilation procedure take?
Procedure length is dependent on your specific condition and anatomy. Discuss with your physician to learn more.
5. Will the procedure require any anesthesia?
Balloon sinus dilation can be performed under local or general anesthesia.
6. How quickly after treatment can I return to normal activities?
Many patients can resume normal activities immediately. Your doctor may recommend you refrain from very strenuous activities (such as heavy lifting) for a week after the treatment.
7. Are there any potential risks and complications associated with balloon sinus dilation?
As with any medical intervention, potential risks and complications exist with balloon sinus dilation. All patients should consult their doctors to determine if their conditions present any special risks. Your physician will review potential complications of balloon sinus dilation at consultation. Potential complications include, but are not limited to: post-operative facial pain, loss of vision or double vision, damage to nerves potentially causing temporary (and occasionally prolonged) numbness to the cheek, lip or teeth, and facial bruising and swelling.
8. Is balloon sinus dilation suitable for everyone?
Only your physician can tell you if balloon sinus dilation is a viable option to treat your sinusitis. Experience has shown that many patients with recurring or persistent sinusitis can be treated with balloon sinus dilation.