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Entellus Medical

Balloon Sinus Dilation Procedure & Recovery

Convenient and effective

Before, During & After the Balloon Sinuplasty Procedure

If you are tired of the long-lasting pain, pressure, and congestion caused by sinus problems, balloon sinus dilation may help. Balloon sinus dilation, also known as the balloon sinuplasty procedure, is a safe, revolutionary office procedure that brings long-lasting relief after a very short recovery time.i

Choosing balloon sinuplasty is an important decision. That's why we want to provide you with all the information you need to make an informed choice. Learn everything you need to know about getting sinus relief from this simple procedure, including:

  • What you can expect from the balloon sinuplasty procedure
  • What happens before, during, and after the balloon sinuplasty procedure
  • How long it takes to recover from balloon sinuplasty
  • What others who have had balloon sinuplasty think about the procedure and their results

What Can I Expect From Balloon Sinuplasty?

The balloon sinuplasty procedure is fast, comfortable, and convenient. It’s done in the sinus doctor’s office and effectively opens your sinus pathway for long-term relief. You’ll notice clearer breathing, improved sleep, fewer sinus infections, and a better quality of life — without medication.i


Here’s how balloon sinuplasty works:

  • The physician places a small balloon in the sinus opening
  • The balloon is gently inflated for about five seconds to expand the opening and restore drainage
  • The balloon is deflated and removed
  • The physician treats the next sinus passageway as needed

Before the Balloon Sinuplasty Procedure

Your sinus doctor will help you prepare for the balloon sinuplasty procedure to achieve the very best outcome. You’ll have a complete exam to be sure there are no conditions that would keep you from having the treatment. You’ll also likely have a CT Scan (similar to an X-ray) taken, as well as learn how you should prepare for your procedure in the weeks and days before. Those instructions will include:

How to Prepare for a Balloon Sinusplasty Procedure

Your doctor will give you specific directions about preparing for your procedure, but here are some general guidlines to follow:

Temporarily stop some medications, vitamins, herbs, and alcohol.

Your doctor may suggest you stop using certain medications, herbs, supplements, and alcohol, which can cause bleeding during and after the procedure. Two weeks before the procedure, stop taking the following:

  • Aspirin products including Advil®, Motrin®, Aleve®
  • Herbs including gingko biloba, ginseng, and garlic tablets
  • Vitamins including vitamin E
  • Alcohol including beer, wine, and liquor

If you are taking prescription blood thinners, discuss this with your physician.

Start antibiotic medication.

If your sinus doctor prescribes you an antibiotic, start taking that medication the day before the procedure or as directed.

  • For those having balloon sinuplasty who are under age 18, a parent or legal guardian must come with you the day you have the procedure
  • Eat as you normally would, but avoid eating anything one hour before the procedure
  • Drink non-alcoholic beverages as you normally would
  • Before you leave for the procedure, your doctor may suggest you spray Afrin™ nasal spray twice in each nostril – this can help relieve congestion
  • Be sure to bring your identification and medical insurance card with you

During Balloon Sinuplasty

Balloon sinuplasty is a comfortable and simple in-office procedure that takes about one hour. Once you arrive for the procedure:

  • Your nose will be sprayed with more decongestant and a local anesthetic to ensure your comfort.
  • A small amount of another anesthetic will be applied on a gauze or pledget and placed on targeted areas.
  • The gauze or pledget will be removed, and an anesthetic will be applied via injection, similar to a dental procedure numbing process.
  • Within 30 minutes, the procedure will begin. A thin instrument with the balloon is guided through your nasal passages to your sinus.
  • Once positioned, the balloon will be gently inflated with saline for five seconds and then deflated. You will feel a firm pressure and may hear a crackling sound.
  • The balloon may be repositioned and inflated again.
  • When your sinus is open, the instrument and balloon are removed.

Your Questions Answered About Balloon Sinuplasty

Local anesthetic is used, so you will be awake during the procedure and comfortable. You will feel some pressure when the balloon is gently inflated in your sinus passage and you may hear a crackling sound.

Many people report little discomfort during the procedure and after.ii

Local anesthetic is used, so you will be awake during the procedure and comfortable.

Balloon sinuplasty typically takes about one hour.

After applying the anesthetic and waiting for about 20 minutes, the doctor will:

  • Place a small balloon in the sinus opening
  • Gently inflate the balloon for about five seconds to expand the opening and restore drainage
  • Deflate and remove the balloon
  • Treat the next sinus as needed

Balloon Sinuplasty Procedure Video

Learn more about what happens during a balloon sinuplasty procedure. Our short video explains how the procedure works and how it helps relieve symptoms of sinus pain, pressure, and infection.


After Balloon Sinuplasty

Within 10 to 15 minutes after the procedure is complete, you can leave the office. You may have some gauze under your nose to collect drainage. You may change this gauze as often as you feel necessary. The drainage will lessen over 24 to 48 hours.

Instructions After Balloon Sinuplasty

You will receive instructions about what to do and what not to do following the procedure, which will include:

Do this:

  • Take an over-the-counter pain medication, such as Tylenol® or Extra Strength Tylenol®, if there is any discomfort after the anesthetic wears off
  • Use Afrin™ spray every three to four hours over the next few days
  • Take your antibiotic that evening and finish it as prescribed
  • Elevate your head over the next two nights while sleeping to help with morning nasal congestion
  • Rinse your nose with saline rinse or spray any time you feel nose congestion, and at least once a day, until your follow-up visit
  • Return to your regular activities following the procedure
  • Return for your scheduled follow-up appointment in about two weeks

Don't do this:

  • Avoid blowing your nose for 24 hours after the procedure and then, after that, gently blow your nose as needed
  • No strenuous exercise on the day you have the procedure
  • Do not use vitamin E, fish oil or aspirin products for two weeks after the procedure

Recovery From the Balloon Sinuplasty Procedure

Not only is balloon sinuplasty quick and effective, but recovery time is also very short. Most patients return to normal activity within one to two days of the procedure. i

Many people report little discomfort after the procedure. If you do have discomfort after the anesthetic wears off, your doctor may suggest an over-the-counter medication such as Tylenol® or Extra Strength Tylenol® should work well.

The procedure will initially cause swelling and some tenderness in the sinus area. There will be some bloody discharge and congestion, which will lessen over several days. Here’s how to have a speedy recovery and increase comfort after the procedure:

  • Sleep with your head elevated to minimize morning congestion
  • Take the prescribed antibiotic as directed
  • Don’t blow your nose for the first 24 hours after the procedure
  • Use saline spray to reduce bleeding, relieve dryness, and clear out congestion
  • If directed by your physician, use Afrin™ spray over a few days after the procedure to relieve congestion

How Long Does It Take to Recover From Balloon Sinuplasty?

Balloon sinuplasty gently opens your sinus to restore normal drainage. Because it is a gentle procedure, recovery is quick, with most patients resuming normal activities the next day.i Questions that are often asked about recovery from balloon sinuplasty include:

How long will it take to get back to work?

Most people return to their normal activities, including work, the day after the procedure. i There is typically no packing or stiches needed after the procedure, so there is no special wound care that must take place.

How long will it take to feel normal again?

Many people who have balloon sinuplasty report great improvement in symptoms only a few weeks after the procedure, including clear nasal passages and easier breathing. Over time, people find that they no longer have to fight sinus infections or experience pressure that causes headaches and face pain. i

Hear From People Who Have Had Balloon Sinuplasty

Freedom from sinus pain, pressure, and infections. Clearer breathing. Improved sleep. These are some of the improvements people who have had balloon sinuplasty report. Hear from them about why they recommend the procedure – and wish they had done it sooner!


Father's Perspective

Chronic sinusitis can cause a toll across a family, especially when the sufferer is your child. A father shares the story of his five year old daughter, and how balloon sinus dilation changed their lives.


Patient Perspective

A teenage boy and his father reflect on the son's experience with sinusitis and balloon sinus dilation, and the impact it had on the boy's quality of life.

Change Your Life and Visit a Sinus Doctor Near You

People everywhere are finding sinusitis relief. You can too. Enter your ZIP code and preferred distance to find a sinus doctor near you who specializes in balloon sinuplasty.

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