Balloons & Sinuses

Balloons & Sinuses

Over the past twenty years, there have been significant advances helping patients with sinus and allergy problems. In the realm of surgery of the sinuses, there have been a number of significant advances. The first has been the nasal endoscope which we use to make better diagnoses and to visualize the internal anatomy of the nose and sinuses. The second has been the shaver-debrider that helps us to remove inflamed sinus tissues while preserving the relatively normal sinus tissues. These two advances have improved the outcomes of sinus surgery while helping to mitigate the risk of complications.

The latest advance and perhaps most interesting has been the development of guided catheters that include an inflatable balloon. Using endoscopes to visualize the entrance to the sinuses, these catheters are advanced into the sinus ostia and tracts that drain the sinus cavity. The accompanying balloon is gently inflated to widen the sinus tract, and withdrawn leaving a wider sinus opening.

WTNH News 8, the Connecticut affiliate of ABC News reported the following on July 25, 2013: “Using balloons to help sinus sufferers.”

Together with other centers across the United States, we have participated with two prospective studies with oversight from Institutional Review Boards (IRB). Both studies report on safety and long term efficacy of office-based balloon dilatation of sinus ostia. To download the study, click on the study title below:

1. In-office stand alone balloon dilatation of sinus ostia
2. Office-based balloon sinus dilation

This third great advance of the past twenty years allows treatment of refractory and chronic sinusitis with an office-based procedure that is successful in more than 85% of cases. There are currently two companies with technologies for office-based sinus ostial balloon dilation, and our Center was a study site for both.

We welcome any and all patients with sinus and/or allergy problems to see us for an opinion, and to learn about innovations such as these. Our goal is to find ways to treat our patients better, faster, with less discomfort, and minimizing any time away from family or work.