Balloon sinuplasty, also known as balloon catheter dilation surgery, is a procedure to clear blocked sinuses. This surgery is relatively new, having been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2005. It’s also commonly referred to as the “smart sinus” procedure.
Balloon sinuplasty is most often recommended for people with chronic sinusitis, after other treatments for their condition have been ineffective. Balloon sinuplasty is fairly straightforward, and reported complications are minimal. There’s no cutting and no removal of bones or tissue. But balloon sinuplasty is still a type of sinus surgery, and it carries the same kinds of risks that other types of sinus surgery do.
Balloon sinuplasty may be particularly beneficial to patients that have had their sinus problems diagnosed early. For patients with chronic, long-lasting problems, the procedure may be effective for some, though not all, of their sinuses. Your physician will discuss with you whether or not you are a candidate for full or partial treatment using balloon sinuplasty. Typically, patients with the following symptoms may benefit from the procedure:
- Recurrent sinus infections that do not respond to medication
- Headaches around the eyes
- Chronic bad breath and/or foul taste in the mouth
- Difficulty breathing through the nose
- Chronic nasal problems