A New Hope for Sinus Patients with Balloon Sinuplasty Surgery - Health Education - DesiMD Healthcare - India

A New Hope for Sinus Patients with Balloon Sinuplasty Surgery

Dr.Anita Krishnan profile Authored by Dr.Anita Krishnan on 15 Oct 2014 - 13:00.

Catching a common cold is often bothersome because it brings with it a stuffy nose and a heavy head to endure for a few days. Stuffy nose and blocked sinuses is often the norm with many people suffering from cold. Chronic sinusitis or the incidence of having heavy blocks in your nasal passageways and sinuses is a condition that affects millions every year.

So what exactly is sinusitis? Each of us has four types of sinuses on each side of the face. These are hollow cavities around your cheek bones and eyes.

The cavities are covered with a mucus layer and cells that contain a lining of cilia or tiny hair. These work on trapping and pushing out the bacteria and pollutants that enter the cavities. Each sinus has an opening, through which accumulated mucus can drain. A properly draining sinus is a healthy sinus; and when this drainage is blocked, that’s when a mucus build-up starts to occur. Due to allergic reactions, improper drainage, microbial infections etc. many people suffer from accumulated mucus and/or inflammation of the membrane in their sinuses, which results in chronic sinusitis or for some as acute sinusitis, flaring up only when they have a bad infection.

Types of Sinusitis

ENT specialists usually prefer to term the condition as Rhinosinusitis, since it more accurately covers the symptoms of nasal congestion, runny nose as well as headaches, toothaches and sinus cavity aches. Depending on how long the episode of inflammation lasts, rhinosinusitis is usually classified as acute (when the episode lasts for less than 4 weeks) or as chronic (when the episode lasts for more than 12 weeks)

Prevalence and Course of treatment

Of the 37 million who have an episode of sinusitis in U.S.A, almost 900,000 patients are not successfully treated. About 7 million patients seek prescriptions, 1.4 million fail medication annually. Only 35% of these patients undergo surgery. Studies show that rhinosinusitis is more common in patients who already suffer from heart disease or asthma.

Medication: When a patient comes in with sinusitis, the first course of treatment is usually medication. Most often the prescription will be for antibiotics, often coupled with nasal steroid sprays, depending on the severity of the infection. These help to reduce the mucosal swelling, and also fight infection and help to remove the obstruction of the sinus openings, thus enabling drainage to happen.

Steam Inhalation:Very often doctors advise patients to use steam inhalation and/or saline nasal sprays or drops to relive the discomfort and aid in opening up the sinuses and nasal passages. Though most patients will respond positively to these measures, and recover adequately from their infection, about 20% of patients do not respond adequately. These are the ones who will need more help and extra measures to help them recover. The next step is invariably surgical consults.

Surgical Consult

In any sinus surgery, what the ENT surgeon will be focusing on will be to clear the blocked sinuses, and restore normal drainage and function to the sinuses. The first surgical option for the sinusitis afflicted patient was the more invasive option of open surgery, also called the Caldwell-Luc. As technology evolved, the FESS gained in popularity.


The main aim being the surgeon will be able to restore the sinuses to good working condition, while at the same time preserving the normal anatomy and mucosal tissue. In conventional sinus surgery, or FESS, specialized instruments are placed into the nose along with a small endoscope to help the surgeon see inside the nose and nasal cavities.

The surgeon will remove bone and tissue to enlarge the sinus opening. An enlarged opening does not necessarily mean a functioning sinus. After almost two decades of Fess the recurrence and revision rates of about 18% (United States statistics) made the surgeons wonder as to what could be going wrong.

Further research identified that the uncinate process and its mucociliary mechanism which is routinely removed in FESS is required for a functioning sinus and also a wide open cavity means less nitric oxide concentration in the sinuses which has bactericidal properties.

FESS also led to post-operative pain, scarring, and bleeding with possibility of complications like inadvertent entry into orbit, anterior cranial fossa etc. This is where technology has brought in an even better solution – Balloon Sinuplasty.

Technology enhanced Surgery options   RelievaBalloon Sinuplasty™ Technology

Balloon Sinuplasty is the fruit of combining endoscopic techniques with new or emerging technology. It has been in use for more than 7 years with over 6,800 surgeons trained in BSPTM and over 200,070 patients treated and 600,210 sinusotomies performed in the United States.

How does it work?

  • A small, flexible, sinus balloon catheter is placed into the nose to reach the sinuses. The sinus balloon catheter is gradually inflated to gently restructure the previously blocked nasal passage, maintaining the integrity of the sinus lining and restoring normal sinus drainage and function.
  • There is minimal bleeding, and many patients have been able to return to normal activities within 24 hours.

The Advantages:

  • Safe and Effective -Published data in leading ENT journals show that study participants experienced no adverse events and received significant relief from their symptoms at multi-year follow-up.
  • Minimally Invasive - The technology uses small, soft, flexible devices that enter entirely through the nostrils. These devices gently open blocked sinus openings, and in many cases, without tissue or bone removal.
  • Patient Friendly – It is less invasive, there is less trauma, less pain, less recovery time (just 24 hours for most patients), less scarring and less follow-up procedures.
  • Reduced BleedingMost often there is no tissue or bone removed when this technology is employed, which means less bleeding.
  • Does Not Limit Treatment Options - Since this technology is an endoscopic tool, it can safely be used in tandem with other medical therapies or sinus surgery techniques. It also does not limit future treatment options if a patient has progressive disease.
  • Can be used by special case patients – like those who are prone to excessive bleeding or those in the ICU.

It is essential that sinusitis be treated as early as possible. This will ensure than it will not develop into a chronic, and debilitating condition; and will also serve to protect against other complications from arising. Treating early also means that the patient will be able to get relief from simpler measures like medications or Balloon Sinuplasty and can avoid more radical and invasive measures.

*Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. The content is for educational purposes only. Please contact your doctor for any health care issues.