In-Office Balloon Sinuplasty
Sinus surgery has been around for decades and advancements throughout the years have progressed to make it safer and less invasive. Originally, sinus surgery was performed by making incisions on the face and removing the bone of the sinuses through those incisions. Surgical technique quickly improved so that some surgeons were capable of doing the surgery through the nose with headlights not too different than what you would see a miner wear. In the early 90’s, endoscopes were developed that made it possible to perform these surgeries entirely through the nose with close-up, detailed visualization improving both safety and efficacy. In the mid 2000’s balloon sinuplasty was introduced as another development in the treatment of sinus disease. In 2011 the FDA approved the use of these balloons for use in the clinic allowing some patients to have minimally invasive sinus surgery under local anesthesia rather than having the surgery performed under general anesthesia in the operating room.
In-Office Balloon Sinuplasty (IOBSP) is the latest effort in a minimally invasive surgical procedure to resolve sinus disease that fails to respond to conservative medical treatment. The goal of any sinus surgery is to widen the openings to the sinuses so that they do not become blocked or inflamed. A blocked sinus will cause the typical pressure and pain associated with sinus infections. Widening these outflow tracts helps prevent the blockage that leads to sinus symptoms. Traditional sinus surgery involves the use of equipment that cuts and removes bone and soft tissue to open those tracts. IOBSP is an alternative where the balloon is inserted into the sinus opening to dilate the outflow tract. Like angioplasty for a blocked artery in the heart, the balloon is only inflated for a few seconds before it is removed. The following is a video explaining how this new technology differs from traditional techniques.