Balloon dilation – chronic sinusitis treatment

What is balloon sinus dilation?

Balloon sinus dilation (BSD) is a cutting-edge surgical procedure indicated for the treatment of chronic sinusitis non-responsive to medical treatment. The procedure has its foundations on the long-term use of balloon dilations in the cardiovascular area for the treatment of coronary disease, in acute myocardial infarction and chronic heart disease.

Much like angioplasty is used to open coronary arteries and avoid heart surgery, BSD offers patients with chronic sinusitis the possibility of complete preservation and restoration of the native sinus anatomy.

Advantages of balloon sinus dilation?

Our team is dedicated to the pathology of the nose, which includes sinus treatment/surgery, septoplasty, turbinoplasty, all sinus surgery procedures and rhinoplasty (nose job).

There are three options available in the treatment of chronic sinusitis: medical therapy, conventional endoscopic sinus surgery and balloon sinus dilation.

Currently, most sinus-related surgical cases can be approached by conventional functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS).

Although FESS is a great surgical technique for the treatment of chronic sinusitis, it has some risks and post-operative discomfort that can be avoided with balloon sinus dilation. Furthermore, some patients can be operated on in our out-patient clinic. This means that surgery can be performed under local anesthesia and the patient can be back to his normal daily activities in less than 24 hours. Of course, not all patients can be treated in this fashion. It is for this reason that an appointment with an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist is important.

When should I see an ear, nose and throat doctor?

Chronic sinusitis is a common condition in which the cavities around nasal passages (sinuses) become inflamed and swollen during a period of at least 12 weeks, despite treatment attempts.

This condition interferes with drainage and ventilation causing mucus build-up, inflammation and infection. The most frequent symptoms are: nasal obstruction or congestion, causing breathing through your nose difficult; discharge from the nose or drainage down the back of the throat; pain and tenderness around your eyes, cheeks, nose or forehead; reduced sense of smell and taste in adults or cough in children.

An appointment with your ENT specialist should be sought if: you’ve had various sinusitis episodes; you have sinusitis symptoms that last longer than seven days; your symptoms don’t improve after you see your doctor; if your symptoms persist for longer than 12 weeks.

Who can benefit from sinus surgery?

We will always attempt medical therapy for the treatment of sinusitis. This therapy is directed toward controlling predisposing factors, treating associated infections, reducing edema and facilitating the drainage of sinus secretions. For this purpose, nasal saline irrigation, topic and systemic steroids and, in some cases, antibiotics are prescribed.

If this treatment fails to completely restore sinus function and control the symptoms, surgery might be necessary. Urgent sinus surgery may also be necessary in patients with acute sinusitis complications.

If you suffer from sinusitis, discuss treatment options with your ENT specialist. Find out if balloon sinus dilation is the best procedure for you.

By Dr. Luís Almeida Dores and Dr Ilídio Gonçalves
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Dr. Luís Almeida Dores and Dr Ilídio Gonçalves are Otorhinolaryngologists at Hospital Particular do Algarve .