Balloon sinuplasty has become a very popular option in recent years to treat sinus inflammation, blockage of the nose and severe rhinosinusitis. It has been used as a way to drain the larger nasal sinuses.
We spoke with Mr Joe Marais, a highly experienced Nasal Plastic and ENT surgeon based in London, to discuss balloon sinuplasty. We found out some of the answers to frequently asked questions regarding the procedure.
What is a balloon sinuplasty?
It’s a minimally invasive surgical technique used to drain blocked sinuses, which are bony cavities in the face.
How is a balloon sinuplasty done?
The procedure is done by passing an endoscope into nasal passages and introducing a device which goes into the nasal passage way and then inflated. It is very similar to what cardiologists use for heart attacks. A lot of people are familiar with that and they can transfer the idea to this.
Is a balloon sinuplasty painful?
The procedure isn’t particularly painful, it done under general although sometimes local anaesthetic.
How long does it take to heal from a balloon sinuplasty?
The beauty of this procedure is that healing is quick because very minimal collateral damage usually occurs.
What are the risks of this surgery?
The risks would involve bleeding, adhesions, infections and general risks from general anaesthetics.
What is the success rate of a balloon sinuplasty?
The success rate is very much over 90%. This method allows surgeons to drain frontal sinuses in a much safer manner than usual surgery. In frontal sinus (the ones in the forehead) surgery, in particular, the surgeons experience is key, as it is an area difficult to access.
Is the procedure going ahead during the pandemic?
Yes, it’s still going ahead as usual.