Balloon sinus surgery has become a popular procedure. Because it doesn’t require any incisions or major reconstruction, balloon sinus surgery is often the preferred choice of patients who are seeking lasting relief from the symptoms of chronic sinus pain, sinus headache, and sinusitis. But not enough has been written about what you can expect once the lights come back on and the procedure has ended.
Balloon sinus surgery, or balloon sinuplasty, is a procedure that is conducted endoscopically and visualized on an external screen. A small balloon is threaded through the nostril and into the blocked sinus, then positioned within an opening of the sinus known as the ostium. A small balloon is remotely inflated, creating mechanical pressure that pushes out on the walls, opening a path for drainage and reshaping the surrounding tissues. The area is rinsed with saline, and you’re done.
The procedure is fast – often completed in far less than an hour. Most patients have the procedure done on a fully outpatient basis within the offices of the Los Angeles Sinus Institute. There is no immediate discomfort because it is conducted under anesthesia, and many patients experience near-instantaneous relief of the pressure that brought them to our offices in the first place.
That relief is likely to last. Once your sinuses can drain, you aren’t likely to experience any more pressure for a good long time. Some patients find that the procedure is permanent; others may have to return after several months if the tissues become sufficiently inflamed once again for the blockage to occur
There is some pain associated with the immediate aftermath of balloon sinuplasty, however. That’s because the balloon, while tiny, does exert some force on the walls of your sinus, and the body reads the resulting adjustment as an injury of sorts. Most patients experience some pain that lasts about 48 hours – far less than the typical recovery time for a more conventional endoscopic sinus surgery procedure.
Of course, this window of recovery may be influenced by factors such as the patient’s age, overall health, and current health status. At the Sinus Institute, we make a point to follow up often to make sure our patients are continuing to improve after the procedure, but you shouldn’t hesitate to reach out proactively if you have any questions.
To get started with in-office balloon sinuplasty, call us today.