Meridian, Miss. There are around 29 million people in the United States that suffer from sinusitis. Many go through the never ending cycle of over the counter nasal sprays, saline solutions, and general antibiotics for chronic sinus relief.
“I was dealing with sinus problems for a long time,” explained Robert E. Lee. “I was using over the counter nasal sprays every day, couldn’t sleep at night, so I came to see Dr. Bridges and he said I had a procedure that we can do that is brand new and he said do you want to try it and I said, yes I do."
This relatively new procedure is called balloon sinus dilation or balloon sinuplasty, and the way it works is it uses a catheter and a sinus balloon device to open sinus pathways.
“The balloon gets deployed, it inflates, it creates a larger opening and the procedure is done,” said Dr. Eric Bridges, an Otolaryngologist at Rush Hospital.
Compared to previous endoscopic surgery that requires a general anesthetic and usually a week long recovery, the balloon sinus dilation is minimally invasive.
“The Balloon Sinuplasty procedure does the same thing as what many people know now as traditional sinus surgery but done in an office setting, with almost no downtime,” explained Dr. Bridges
On average the balloon sinus dilation takes about twenty minutes to complete and can be done under a local anesthetic, with patients feeling relief in as little as a few hours after the procedure.
“Pretty much instantly the next day the pain was minimal or none at all, but I was able to sleep at night without getting up, didn’t have to use the nasal spray anymore and am still good today,” stated Lee.
More than three fourths of patients treated by the balloon sinus dilation see a reduction in sinus infections and most people find relief from the pounding sinus headache.
“The rate of success I think is as least as good as the endoscopic sinus surgery and possibly better and the patients are very happy with the fact that it works almost instantly and there is very little down time,” explained Dr. Bridges.