FAQs on balloon sinuplasty

Written by: Mr Joe Marais
Edited by: Robert Smith

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.

If you may require a balloon sinuplasty, we recommend getting in contact with Mr Joe Marais. Click here to visit his Top Doctors profile today for information on appointment availability.

By Mr Joe Marais
Otolaryngology / ENT

Mr Joe Marais is a renowned consultant rhinologist, nasal plastic and ENT surgeon based in London, who treats a wide range of conditions and holds a special interest in rhinoplasty, septoplasty, nasal deformity and sinus surgery.

Mr Marais trained as a junior doctor at London’s renowned Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital before relocating to Edinburgh to complete further training. In 1996, he was awarded intercollegiate fellowship of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons and later gained invaluable experience under some of the world’s leading ENT surgeons in Texas, USA and later in Toronto, Canada in sub-specialist fellowships. He was appointed as a consultant rhinologist, nasal plastic and ENT surgeon in 2000 in London. Mr Marais is a highly experienced and respected expert in his field and he often receives tertiary referrals of challenging and complex cases from other colleagues.

Mr Marais has published a number of academic papers and has lectured nationally and internationally on his areas of expertise. Additionally, he teaches postgraduate medical trainees for the Royal College of Surgeons and is also involved in the training of junior ENT surgeons. He recently appeared on the BBC’s The One Show to give an expert demonstration of sinus surgery.

Mr Marais is a member of numerous esteemed professional bodies, including ENT_UK and the European Rhinological Society. He is also an allied associate member of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS). Patient care is central to Mr Marais and he aims to provide the best outcomes possible for his patients.

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