Photos Courtesy of Acclarent®
Recurrent sinus headaches, congestion, and facial pain may be more than allergies or a cold. They could be symptoms of sinusitis, a common condition that causes a buildup of mucus in the sinuses. If you've been diagnosed with chronic sinusitis and oral medications, nasal sprays, and other remedies don't provide the relief you need, balloon sinuplasty, a new, minimally invasive endoscopic sinus surgery at our Lafayette practice, can provide years of freedom from uncomfortable sinus symptoms.
Dr. J. Kevin Duplechain, a cosmetic surgeon, facial plastic surgeon, and otolaryngologist who is certified by three distinct boards, has extensive experience and training in surgery of the nose. He and his staff can help you with both functional problems and help meet your aesthetic goals. If you would like to learn more about balloon sinuplasty or any other procedures we offer, request a consultation online or call our office at (337) 326-5158.
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Balloon sinuplasty has many distinct advantages over traditional sinus surgery and other methods of treating sinusitis. These include:
- Minimally invasive: Balloon sinuplasty uses an endoscopic technique that accesses the sinuses through the nostrils. Dr. Duplechain doesn't make an incision, and none of the underlying tissues are cut or removed.
- Effective: In a 2008 study, the majority of balloon sinuplasty patients reported a sustained improvement in their symptoms and quality of life 2 years after undergoing the procedure.
- Short recuperation: Balloon sinuplasty can be performed in the office under local anesthesia. Dr. Duplechain also performs balloon sinuplasty under general anesthesia when combined with Rhinoplasty surgery. Because it doesn't require an incision or the removal of tissue, recovery is fairly straightforward and quick. Most patients are back to work, school, and other normal activities within 48 hours.
- Easily combined: Although many people choose to undergo balloon sinuplasty on its own, it can also be combined with other procedures, such as rhinoplasty, to improve both the form and the function of the nose.
Dr. Duplechain Explains Your Balloon Sinuplasty Procedure
I prefer to perform balloon sinuplasty in my Lafayette office. Because the procedure is fairly straightforward and doesn't require an incision, I can use local anesthesia or general anesthesia. Many patients do prefer general anesthesia because of the added comfort and the ease of completing the procedure.
Once the area is properly anesthetized, I insert a very small balloon catheter into the sinus cavity through the nostril. The balloon is made of a medical-grade plastic and is safe for individuals with latex allergies. Once the balloon is inserted, I inflate it to open the sinus cavity. I then spray a sterile saline solution into the cavity to wash away accumulated mucus. Once the sinus cavity is cleared, I remove the balloon catheter, leaving the sinus cavity and airway open and unobstructed without damaging the surrounding tissues.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is a good candidate for balloon sinuplasty?
Balloon sinuplasty is a great option for Lafayette adults and children who suffer from chronic sinusitis. Sinusitis is considered "chronic" when it persists for at least 12 weeks, although a qualified physician can provide a definitive diagnosis. Balloon sinuplasty is suitable for patients who would prefer a more long-term solution than medication. The procedure is often covered by insurance.
Is balloon sinuplasty safe?
Yes. The procedure has been extensively studied and successfully performed on more than 300,000 patients since its introduction. The devices used in the procedure were cleared by the FDA in 2005. The procedure is very safe and just as effective as other types of corrective sinus surgery.
How long does the procedure take?
A recent study of more than 1,000 balloon sinuplasty patients found that the average time in the operating room was 73 minutes. This figure will be higher, however, if the procedure is combined with another surgery, such as rhinoplasty. Other factors, such as Dr. Duplechain's specific technique and the unique needs of the patient, can alter the duration of the procedure.
Recovery & Results
Balloon sinuplasty is an outpatient procedure, and patients typically return home after a brief period of observation.
The postsurgical period is generally more comfortable following balloon sinuplasty than other forms of sinus surgery because this procedure doesn't require an incision or excision of tissues. Cold compresses and oral medications can help with soreness, and patients are comfortable returning to work within about 1 or 2 days.
The results of balloon sinuplasty are generally long-lasting, but each patient's own timeline can vary depending on the severity of his or her condition. Many of Dr. Duplechain's patients reported that they were symptom-free for at least 2 years after surgery.