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What is Balloon Sinuplasty?

sinuplasty surgery
December 11, 2018

Balloon Sinuplasty is a safe, effective, and minimally invasive technique used to treat blocked and/or inflamed sinuses. Sinuses can become inflamed from a variety of conditions, such as sinusitis (sinus infection), other chronic infections, and can even result from mold exposure (MARCoNS). This endoscopic, catheter-based technique is an alternative to sinus surgery and can be beneficial for patients who are not responding to medications for relief of their symptoms. Furthermore, balloon sinuplasty does not require incisions, cutting, the removal of any bone tissue, or anesthesia and is therefore less taxing on the patient.

Since the initial introduction of balloon sinuplasty, there has been a significant number of clinical studies that investigated this technique’s effectiveness, safety, and the patient’s benefits. At the bottom of this article is a list of several research studies supporting the efficacy of this technique for treating patients diagnosed with chronic or recurrent sinusitis, patients with frontal, maxillary and sphenoid disease, and patients with allergies, asthma, septal deviations, or a previous functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS). Overall, this technique delivers a significantly better patient recovery experience than surgery, including quicker recovery; less bleeding, risk of infection, blood loss, bruising and swelling; and less need for pain medications. Furthermore, patients are able to return to their normal daily activities right away.

During this procedure, a balloon is placed over a pump and is inserted into the nostril near the sinus opening. An instrument is then used to guide the balloon up into the blocked sinus so that when the balloon is inflated, it will dilate the sinus opening without cutting the mucosa or surrounding structures. In turn, the walls of the sinus passageway are widened which restores normal drainage. The procedure takes around 20 minutes and if successful, after the balloon is deflated and removed the sinus will remain open for up to 24 months. This can be especially relieving for patients who suffer from chronic headaches or migraines due to their sinusitis.

Currently we are providing 3-4 recommended treatments to create a more permanent resolution of symptoms.

Is Balloon Sinuplasty right for you? Typically patients with all or some of the following symptoms may benefit from the balloon sinuplasty procedure:

Recurrent sinusitis: sinus infection occurring when the sinuses and nasal passages become inflamed. Sinuses are small air pockets located behind the forehead, nose, cheekbones, and eyes. The sinuses produce mucus, which is a jelly-like liquid that protects the body by trapping germs before entering the bloodstream. Sinusitis occurs when excess mucus formed by bacteria or allergens causes blockages of the sinus openings. This mucus buildup can encourage further bacteria and germs to grow in the sinus cavity, leading to a bacterial or viral infection. This results in minimal to extreme inflammation in the nasal passageways. Balloon sinuplasty opens the nasal passageways inducing proper drainage and clearing of the mucus buildup in the nasal passageway and therefore, a reduction in inflammation that will last long after the procedure,

Headaches, especially around the eyes: Inflammation and mucus buildup in the nasal passageways can cause mild to severe headaches, of which can be relieved from the balloon sinuplasty procedure.

Chronic bad breath and/or foul taste in the mouth: Symptoms such as these can be the result of clogged and inflamed sinuses, of which balloon sinuplasty can relieve.

Difficulty breathing through the nose

Chronic nasal problems

MARCoNS (Multiple Antibiotic Resistant Coagulase Negative Staphylococci): an antibiotic resistant staph infection that resides deep within the nasal cavity. It typically results when a person has been treated with antibiotics for a month or more and/or from mold exposure. The antibiotic resistant staph bacteria forms a biofilm, which is a layer of mucus, cellular debris, white cells, fungi, and other substances of which creates a habitat that antibiotics can’t readily penetrate. There are several mechanisms by which biofilms can form, but once formed they are very hard to get rid of. MARCoNS ultimately results in a variety of symptoms including hormone imbalances, weakened immune response, chronic fatigue and body aches. Further symptoms include reduced endorphins, mood swings, leaky gut, alternating constipation and diarrhea, and lower melatonin (poor sleep). In turn, cortisol levels first increase due to the body’s stress response, but then drop due to the body’s inability to compensate and ultimately, adrenal symptoms sets in. Balloon sinuplasty with the help of a natural antimicrobial like silver protein can clear out this bacterial infection, combating such symptoms.

Wegener’s Granulomatosis: an uncommon autoimmune disease causing inflammation and injury to blood vessels (vasculitis) that affects several organs, including the lungs, kidneys and upper respiratory tract. Symptoms may include sinus pain, bloody, purulent nasal discharge, saddle-nose deformity, chest discomfort and cough, weakness, anorexia, weight loss, and skin lesions. While balloon sinuplasty is not a cure to this disease, it can cause relief of inflammation, decrease sinus pain, and prevent further infection of the respiratory tract. Many people are aware that this vasculitis is affecting their kidney or cardiac tissue but the most common reason for the development of the autoimmune disease is a upper respiratory tract infection!

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues, specifically the synovium (thin membrane that surrounds the joints and produces synovial fluid that lubricates the joints). This results in severe inflammation, which can lead to pain and swelling throughout the body of which balloon sinuplasty can be beneficial to relieve. Again, the sinuplasty is not treating the rheumatoid arthritis but it is targeting an infection that may have started the disease process!

Whether you have one or several of the above symptoms/conditions, you may find extraordinary relief from your sinus pain and inflammation from the balloon sinuplasty procedure. If you have any further questions about the procedure or whether or not it is right for you, please feel free to call us at Red Tail Wellness Center to discuss your options. We look forward to hearing from you and working with you to help treat your sinus issues.

Balloon Sinuplasty Procedure supported Research Articles:

Bikhazi, N. et al; Standalone balloon dilation versus sinus surgery for chronic rhinosinusitis: A prospective, multicenter, randomized, controlled trial with 1-year follow-up, Am J Rhinol Allergy 2014; May 20 [Epub ahead of print]

Cutler, Jeffrey; Bikhazi, Nadim; Light, Joshua; Truitt, Theodore; Schwartz, Michael; Armstrong, Michael; Bikhazi, Nadim; Chandler, Stephen; Cutler, Jeffrey; Ferouz-Colborn, Aliya; Gould, James; Light, Joshua; Marvel, Jeffrey; Schwartz, Michael; Truitt, Theodore (2013). “Standalone Balloon Dilation versus Sinus Surgery for Chronic Rhinosinusitis: A Prospective, Multicenter, Randomized, Controlled Trial”. American Journal of Rhinology & Allergy. 27 (5): 416–422. doi:10.2500/ajra.2013.27.3970. PMID 23920419.

Gould, James; Alexander, Ian; Tomkin, Edward; Brodner, David (2014). “In-Office, Multisinus Balloon Dilation: 1-Year Outcomes from a Prospective, Multicenter, Open Label Trial”. American Journal of Rhinology & Allergy. 28 (2): 156–163. doi:10.2500/ajra.2014.28.4043. PMID 24598043.

Levine, Steven B.; Truitt, Theodore; Schwartz, Michael; Atkins, James (2013). “In-Office Stand-Alone Balloon Dilation of Maxillary Sinus Ostia and Ethmoid Infundibula in Adults with Chronic or Recurrent Acute Rhinosinusitis: A Prospective, Multi-Institutional Study with 1-Year Follow-up”. Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology. 122 (11): 665–671. doi:10.1177/000348941312201101. PMID 24358625.

Karanfilov, Boris; Silvers, Stacey; Pasha, Raza; Sikand, Ashley; Shikani, Alan; Sillers, Michael; ORIOS2 Study Investigators (2013). “Office-based balloon sinus dilation: A prospective, multicenter study of 203 patients”. International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology. 3 (5): 404–411. doi:10.1002/alr.21112. PMID 23136057.

Albritton, Ford D.; Casiano, Roy R.; Sillers, Michael J. (2012). “Feasibility of in-office endoscopic sinus surgery with balloon sinus dilation”. American Journal of Rhinology & Allergy. 26 (3): 243–248. doi:10.2500/ajra.2012.26.3763. PMC 3906511. PMID 22449614.

Cutler, Jeffrey; Truitt, Theodore; Atkins, James; Winegar, Bradford; Lanier, Brent; Schaeffer, B. Todd; Raviv, Joseph; Henderson, Diana; Duncavage, James; Stankiewicz, James; Tami, Thomas (2011). “First clinic experience: Patient selection and outcomes for ostial dilation for chronic rhinosinusitis”. International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology. 1 (6): 460–465. doi:10.1002/alr.20069. PMID 22144055.

Stankiewicz, James; Truitt, Theodore; Atkins, James; Winegar, Bradford; Cink, Paul; Raviv, Joseph; Henderson, Diana; Tami, Thomas (2012). “Two-year results: Transantral balloon dilation of the ethmoid infundibulum”. International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology. 2 (3): 199–206. doi:10.1002/alr.21024. PMID 22337530.

Brodner, David; Nachlas, Nathan; Mock, Presley; Truitt, Theodore; Armstrong, Michael; Pasha, Raza; Jung, Christopher; Atkins, James (2013). “Safety and outcomes following hybrid balloon and balloon-only procedures using a multifunction, multisinus balloon dilation tool”. International Forum of Allergy & Rhinology. 3 (8): 652–658. doi:10.1002/alr.21156. PMID 23424023.

Weiss, Raymond L.; Church, Christopher A.; Kuhn, Frederick A.; Levine, Howard L.; Sillers, Michael J.; Vaughan, Winston C. (2008). “Long-term outcome analysis of balloon catheter sinusotomy: Two-year follow-up”. Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery. 139(3_suppl_1): S38–S46. doi:10.1016/j.otohns.2008.06.008. PMID 18707993.


Gilani, M, et al. “Methicillin Resistant Coagulase Negative Staphylococcus: From Colonizer to a Pathogen.” Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports., U.S. National Library of Medicine, July 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27393446.

Mayo Clinic Staff. “Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 8 Aug. 2017, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/granulomatosis-with-polyangiitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20351088

“Rheumatoid Arthritis: Early diagnosis and treatment outcomes” Caspian journal of internal medicine vol. 2,1 (2011): 161-70.

Shoemaker, Dr. Ritchie. “MARCoNS.” Biotoxin Journey, 10 Oct. 2018, biotoxinjourney.com/marcons/.

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