What is Sinusitis?
Chronic sinusitis, a common medical condition that affects about 37 million Americans, occurs when an opening inside the sinus doesn’t drain properly. This causes the affected sinus to remain blocked with mucus.
Sinuses are air-filled pockets located around the nose, and each sinus has an opening though which mucus drains.
Symptoms of chronic sinusitis include:
- Facial pain and pressure
- Nasal congestion or fullness
- Difficulty breathing through the nose
- Discharge of yellow or green mucus from the nose
- Pain in the teeth
- Loss of the sense of smell or taste
- Sore throat
- Bad breath
Treatment With Balloon Sinuplasty
The first step in treating chronic sinusitis is medicinal, with medicine therapies prescribed by your physician. However, if these do not provide adequate relief from symptoms, your physician may recommend Balloon Sinuplasty™, available at Tanner Health System.
Balloon Sinuplasty is a safe, minimally-invasive system that sinus specialists on Tanner’s medical staff have at their disposal to treat chronic sinusitis. The system works by allowing a physician to thread a tiny wire, called a catheter, into the nostrils and up to the site of the blocked sinus. A small balloon on the end of the catheter is then inflated, reopening the passageway.
The procedure is not very different from the angioplasty treatment Tanner offers to reopen blocked arteries for patients with cardiovascular disease.
How it Works
Balloon Sinuplasty is a four-step process.
- Step 1: Access the Sinus - The sinus guide catheter is inserted into the nasal cavity. Using a camera attached to a small scope and a light on the tip of the catheter helps the physician navigate to the site of the sinus blockage.
- Step 2: Clear the Blockage - The end of the catheter is navigated to the site of the blockage and the balloon on the end of the catheter is inflated, just enough to clear the blockage.
- Step 3: Irrigate the Sinus - The balloon is deflated and removed from the sinus, allowing the catheter to enter the affected sinus. The catheter is then used to irrigate – or “flush out” – the sinus, washing out the mucus or infection that has collected there due to the blockage.
- Step 4: Remove the Catheter - The physician will carefully remove the catheter, leaving the sinus open and clear of mucus and infection. With the blockage gone and the sinus reopened, it will be able to drain normally, relieving the symptoms of chronic sinusitis.
Scheduling a Consultation
Discuss Balloon Sinuplasty with your primary care physician. To find a physician on Tanner’s medical staff that offers this procedure, call 770.214.CARE.