If you have sinusitis that doesn’t go away or if you have sinusitis four or more times a year you might be a candidate for balloon sinuplasty. This simple procedure can be performed in the ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor’s office.

It’s natural to have questions before any medical procedure. Here are answers to the most common questions people have about balloon sinuplasty.

Is balloon sinuplasty safe?

The procedure is FDA approved and has been performed over 350,000 times. While every surgical procedure has some level of risk, this procedure is minimally invasive. Because it can be performed under local anesthesia the risk is greatly reduced.

Is balloon sinuplasty painful?

This is the most common question people have. You will be relaxed and the area will be completely numb before the procedure begins. When the balloon is inflated you may feel some pressure, but you will not feel pain.

What can I expect during the procedure?

Put your concerns aside; this is generally an outpatient procedure performed in the ENT’s office. There is no need to go to a hospital and no overnight stay is involved.

The time varies depending on the sinuses and the patient. Generally, the procedure doesn’t take much more than 1 hour. You will need to be in the office for a bit before the procedure, so plan on staying longer than 1 hour.

A small balloon is inserted with an endoscope. Once inflated, the balloon makes very small micro-fractures to the bone. The bone keeps the new position as it heals. This is why the procedure can be a permanent treatment for many.

Can I drive afterwards?

If no pre-procedure sedative is administered, you should be able to drive home in about 15 minutes or so after the procedure. If you will be taking a sedative before the procedure you will need someone to drive you home.

What is recovery from balloon sinuplasty like?

Most people can resume normal activities in about 2 days. Some people return to normal activity later the same day of the procedure.

The procedure will not cause bruising around your eyes. It will not cause bruising around your nose. It will not cause bruising any place on your body. Some swelling in the days after your procedure is normal. Sleeping with your head elevated and using saline rinses will help control any swelling.

Most patients are still symptom free after 2 years. The procedure should provide you long-lasting relief.

Are you ready to feel and breathe better? Contact your local ENT today to find out if balloon sinuplasty could help you!