Balloon sinuplasty, also known as balloon sinus surgery, is a fairly new procedure that involves inflating a tiny balloon inside your sinuses to promote drainage. The procedure is becoming more popular every day because it fills a niche, slaking the demand for a fast, outpatient procedure that can relieve the pain of sinus pressure and sinusitis without surgery.
Our bodies use mucus as a sort of all-purpose lubricant and cleanser. In the face, your mucus warms the air you breathe, rids it of impurities, and continually cleans your sinuses and throat of any particulates in the air. It is a filter that our bodies continually produce in a process which is designed to flow from top to bottom, aided by the microscopic movement of tiny hairs known as cilia.
When it’s working, it’s a great system. Your mucus refreshes itself on a daily basis, shuttling away all kinds of pollution and irritants in the bargain, draining through pockets of air inside the face which are known as your sinuses. This inexorable flow of mucus is smooth and steady, so much so that it exists beyond perception, draining effortlessly while we eat, sleep, and live.
But what it’s not working, this system has an Achilles heel. Inflammation associated with infection or viral illness can cause the tiny holes through which your mucus drains, to close up. In a more efficient world, this would trigger mucus production to cease – but our bodies are lacking this important failsafe. Mucus production continues unchecked whether it is able to drain or not, leading to a logjam of sorts where the mucus builds and builds, giving rise to the crushing pain of sinus pressure.
Balloon sinuplasty is the new remedy for this problem. Unlike other approaches designed to reduce inflammation or dry out your mucus membranes, balloon sinuplasty goes straight to the source of the problem. A balloon is threaded into the obstruction, and your ENT inflates it remotely, creating a new opening and forcing the walls of your drainage openings known as ostia to gently and permanently expand. The mucus drains, and comfort is restored.
At the Los Angeles Sinus Institute, we are leaders in the evolution and adoption of balloon sinuplasty throughout Southern California. If you are experiencing ongoing, chronic, or repetitive sinus infections, balloon sinuplasty could be a way out. Call us today.