Balloon sinuplasty: Has your doctor floated the idea?

Written by: Mr Abbad Toma
Edited by: Nicholas Howley

If you’re bothered by recurrent sinus infections and medication doesn’t seem to help, a balloon sinuplasty might be the answer. We spoke to Mr Abbad Toma, leading consultant ear, nose and throat (ENT) and facial plastic surgeon based in London, about what the procedure involves and the success rate.

What is balloon sinuplasty?

Balloon sinuplasty (BSP) is a safe and effective procedure for sinusitis patients who:

  • are not responding well to medications, and
  • have either had a sinus infection for more than 12 weeks or have 4 or more sinus infections each year.

Balloon Sinuplasty is a minimally-invasive (keyhole) procedure performed using a device to enter the nasal sinuses. The aim is to improve the ventilation and drainage of these sinuses.

How does balloon sinuplasty work?

The BSP involves inserting a 1mm balloon-holding guide into the affected sinus. Once the insertion is confirmed, the balloon is inflated to 4mm and removed after a few seconds.

The sinus can then be left to ventilate, or it can be irrigated (washed) to clear any secretions or infection depending on the condition being treated.

The procedure takes only 30 minutes to complete, and only involves one or two days off work.

Why is balloon sinuplasty done?

Patients who will benefit from balloon sinuplasty are those with:

A balloon sinuplasty can also act as a navigator to identify and treat nasal sinuses in patients who may have had sinus surgery in the past, to avoid further damage to the lining of the nose.

How high is the balloon sinuplasty success rate?

Clinical research confirms that balloon sinuplasty provides long-term relief from sinus symptoms by effectively opening the blocked sinus passageways.

In my series of 100 consecutive patients treating 289 sinuses there have been absolutely no complications. 99% of patients felt better after surgery, and two patients had the surgery repeated two years after the initial surgery.

I have been performing this procedure since 2010 and have still not had any complications reported – but I do have many happy patients who have experienced the benefits.

By Mr Abbad Toma
Otolaryngology / ENT

Mr Abbad Toma is a leading consultant ear, nose and throat (ENT) and facial plastic surgeon based in London, who specialises in all conditions causing nasal obstruction and sinus disease with a particular interest in endoscopic sinus surgery

He is Head of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology (ENT) at Kingston Hospital and Lead clinician for Rhinology and facial plastic surgery

Mr Toma gained his specialist training in rhinology and endoscopic sinus surgery at the University of Pennsylvania, USA and Switzerland. After training with facial plastic surgeons in the UK, he went on to gain further experience in Switzerland and France as Fellow of the European Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery. Mr Toma received full accreditation from the Specialist Advisory Committee in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and was awarded his certificate of completed surgical training. 

Mr Toma served as South Thames regional representative on the ENTUK Council and the professional advisory board of the Royal College of Surgeons from 2010 until 2016. 

He is heavily involved in education, teaching undergraduate medical students, training junior doctors and holding general practitioner educational sessions. Mr Toma conducts research into diseases of the nose and sinuses, and minimally invasive surgery and is co-director of the London endoscopic sinus surgery course.

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