Balloon Sinus Dilation (BSD - also known as Balloon Sinuplasty) was first introduced in 2005 with the goal to open blocked sinus passages, allowing adequate ventilation and restore natural drainage. If you are a chronic sinusitis sufferer with symptoms of nasal congestion, facial pressure, post-nasal drip, and headache, BSD may be able to help you. Balloon Sinus Dilation can be conveniently performed in the office (based on your insurance) under local anesthesia to reverse the symptoms of sinusitis with little to no down time.
Balloon Sinus Dilation is performed under local anesthesia, and unlike conventional sinus surgery, BSD does not involve removal of bone or tissue. With BSD, a narrow tip or wire is inserted into the nose and then into the opening of the narrowed or blocked sinus(es). Once the sinus probe is placed into the sinus opening, a balloon is then moved forward to span the length of the opening. When it is inside the sinus opening, the balloon is inflated and the sinus opening is dilated for about 5-10 seconds. This enlarges or “remodels” the sinus opening up to 6 fold its normal diameter, allowing for proper drainage and ventilation. The balloon is then deflated and removed. Because there is no tissue or bone removal, bleeding is minimal and most patients go back to normal activities the next day.
Prior to 2005, traditional Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS) was the only option available when medications were not enough to treat the chronic sinusitis symptoms. FESS involves removing tissue and bone, and surgically widens the natural sinus openings and also has very good results for patients with chronic sinusitis. This procedure may be used if you are not a candidate for Balloon Sinus Dilation.
Recent Data Regarding Balloon Sinus Dilation:
REMODEL, published in the American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy, was the first randomized, multi-center clinical trial to compare traditional endoscopic sinus surgery to in-office balloon sinus dilation. REMODEL demonstrated in-office balloon sinus dilation to be as effective as traditional sinus surgery at improving sinus symptoms long term, but with less post operative pain and faster recover time.
Study: Chandra, Rakesh K., Kern, Robert C., Cutler, Jeffrey L., Welch, and Russell, Paul T. REMODEL larger cohort with long-term outcomes and meta-analysis of standalone balloon dilation studies. Laryngoscope. July 2015.