In-Office Balloon Sinus Surgery


5 Fast Facts

Sinusitis is inflammation of the air filled pockets in your face that results in facial pain, pressure, congestion, drainage, and nasal obstruction. In severe cases it can even lead to infection spreading to the eye or brain. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and can lead to significantly decreased quality of life. If medications and antibiotics have failed to improve your sinus complaints, it’s time to learn more about in-office balloon sinuplasty.

“I now know what it’s like to breathe!”

Dr. Compton performed a Balloon Sinus Dilation, to help with years of sinus headaches and turbinate dysfunction… and I can now breathe! Before the Procedure I was prescribed Norco and a prescription to help calm my nerves. I heard horror stories about this procedure and I was nervous about seeing the instruments coming toward my face. I can honestly say, that I reached the proper medication level and could care less about the instruments. I was quickly sprayed and then numbed up. Dr. Compton and his team had an amazing “bedside manner”, and I was completely at ease. The Procedure I felt pressure at times, but no real pain. Again, the team kept me informed, as to what they were doing and were encouraging. It was so much easier than I anticipated! After the Procedure I felt air immediately! I had a slight headache, when I went home, but did not need any pain medication. You will have some blood drainage that first day. A handful or hours later, I felt like I had a bad hangover. I became sick a few times, which was not surprising for me, as I assume it was from the medication and drainage going down your throat. I felt better after that. The next few days, I felt very stuffy and my nose made this fun noise, which was a bonus. I am now a week out and one side feels great and the other side a little stuffy, but did I mention… I now know what it’s like to breathe! If you are a candidate for this procedure… get it done!

– S.M.

The sinuses are connected to the nose through very small openings. Inflammation of the nose can cause these to swell shut leading to back up of mucous, infection, and all of the symptoms that we associate with sinusitis. In people without chronic sinus disease, these openings are large enough to allow drainage even when inflamed, but in the unlucky patients dealing with chronic sinusitis or recurrent sinusitis, these openings are just too narrow. Expanding the natural sinus drainage pathways is the basis for all modern sinus surgery.

Modern sinus surgery is divided into two categories: traditional, large opening sinus surgery and balloon sinuplasty. Both of these sinus surgeries are aimed at opening the small natural openings from the sinuses into the nose. This is done in different ways, but both are very effective. The difference comes down to the extent of surgery and size of the opening at the end of surgery. Both have benefits and drawbacks to be considered and discussed with your surgeon.

Your In-Office Balloon Sinus Surgery will be performed by Dr. Andrew Compton at Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital, West Bloomfield surgery center or in his office in Troy.

Balloon sinuplasty is an effective, minimally invasive treatment option for recurrent acute sinusitis and chronic sinusitis without polyps. Using nasal endoscopes through the nose, without incisions on the outside, a small balloon is passed into the small natural sinus openings and inflated then immediately removed. This gently remodels the narrowed bony sinus opening and permanently dilates the passage. This minimally invasive procedure is gentle enough to perform in the office while awake using only local anesthetics. It is well tolerated with mild discomfort and pain. Patients are able to return to their daily activities after only 1- 2 days and experience mild facial pressure for 1-2 weeks that is easily managed with Ibuprofen. In-office balloon sinuplasty is a great solution for patients who want decreased down time, to avoid traditional surgery or are a poor risk for general anesthetics. For patients with severe anxiety and anyone who does not tolerate dental procedures well, balloon sinuplasty can also be performed in the OR.

While balloon sinuplasty is a great advance in sinus care, there are many patients who this is not an appropriate treatment option. Only your surgeon can decided if balloon sinuplasty is right for you. Dr. Compton does not typically use balloon sinuplasty in patients with severe nasal polyps, significant septal deviation, severe acute infection or infection with multi-drug resistant bacteria. Other patients may not be candidates if they have unfavorable sinus anatomy, or are revision cases, but these are decided on a case by case basis.

Patients who are not candidates will likely require traditional sinus surgery (large opening surgery). This is performed under a general anesthetic in the OR as it is more involved. Similar to balloon sinuplasty, a nasal endoscope is used through the nose to perform the surgery without any cuts on the face. The bony partitions that divide the sinuses from the nose are completely taken down and the sinuses are opened widely. While more extensive, it facilitates rinsing the sinuses out with saline and getting topical antibiotics and steroids directly into the sinuses. While this is a more invasive treatment option compared to balloon sinuplasty, patients still have limited downtime. They report mild to moderate pain requiring narcotic medications for 48-72 hours followed by the feeling of having a bad cold for the next week. Due to the more extensive work that is performed, patients experience crusting, drying and debris that can last for 1-2 months. During this period, maintaining nasal humidification is critical and is facilitated by frequent sinus rinses, nasal saline gel and bedside humidifiers. This also necessitates 2-3 postoperative sinus clean outs to allow proper healing of this sinuses. While it is more involved, it provides widely opened sinuses where there is “no place to hide” for bacteria or fungus.

Many patients are concerned about “packing” as they have experienced or heard of horror stories involving pulling out a string of packing 6 foot long that is very painful. Thankfully, this kind of packing is from a previous era in sinus surgery and is no longer used. Dr. Compton rarely if ever uses non-dissolving, “formal” packing and instead opts for a dissolving nasal spacer. This does not require removal by the patient and is gently suctioned out at the first postoperative visit.

While sinusitis is problem for millions of Americans, we now have safe and effective treatments that range from medications to sinus surgery. Dr. Compton is a very experienced nasal and sinus surgeon who treats hundreds of nasal and sinus patients each year.

Call 248.289.7300 for an appointment so we can decide together what the best treatment options are for you.

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