Balloon Sinus Dilation FAQ

  • What Is Balloon Sinus Dilation?
    • Balloon Sinus Dilation uses a small balloon to dilate and remodel your sinus opening to allow your sinuses to drain and ventilate more effectively.

  • Is Balloon Sinus Dilation new?
    • Balloon Sinus Dilation was introduced in 2005 as a convenient, less invasive alternative to sinus surgery. The procedure was most commonly performed in the operating room or surgery centers. In 2011, Medicare and many private insurance companies approved the procedure to be performed in the office. The cost to Medicare is reduced by nearly 50% by performing the procedure in the office versus traditional sinus surgery in the hospital!

  • What Happens During Balloon Sinus Dilation?
    • BSD is performed in the comfort of our office. The patient will take a mild sedative prior to the procedure to ease anxiety or nerves. Once at the procedure, a tiny catheter is inserted through the nose and into the opening of the sinuses. On the end of the catheter is a balloon filled with saline (salt water.) Once inside the sinus opening, the balloon is dilated (or inflated.) By dilating the balloon, the sinus opening is remodeled by up to six times the size, allowing for proper drainage and ventilation. The balloon is then deflated and removed. That's it!

  • Does Balloon Sinus Dilation Work?
    • Yes. Studies have proven Balloon Sinus Dilation provides long-term relief from sinus symptoms by opening blocked sinus passageways for 94% of patients. This means that on average, about 6 patients in 100 will need another procedure. The next procedure could either be another Balloon Sinus Dilation or a traditional sinus surgery in the operating room.

      In 2013 a national multi-center study, known as REMODEL, demonstrated Balloon Sinus Dilation is as effective as conventional sinus surgery at improving chronic sinusitis symptoms long term, but with less down time, less post operative pain and a faster return to normal activities.

  • What Is Dr. Williams' Experience With Balloon Sinus Dilation?
    • Dr. Williams has extensive experience in the management of sinusitis and allergies. She has been performing Balloon Sinus Dilation for the past 5 years and traditional sinus surgery for the past 20 years. For the convenience and benefits of her patients she has transitioned to performing BSD in the office but some patients may have to have the procedure performed in the hospital.

  • Will My Insurance Pay For BSD?
    • With the exception of NC and SC Blue Cross/Blue Shield and NC MCAID, the vast majority of insurance companies cover OBSD.

  • How Much Pain Is Expected?
    • Patients may experience some discomfort during the procedure. On a pain score of 0 to 10, with 10 being the most severe, most patients score their discomfort as a 1 or 2.

  • What Is Recovery Like?
    • Since there is no tissue removal there is usually no bleeding, bruising or swelling associated with BSD. Patients may have some bloody nasal discharge for a day or two following the procedure, but that's it. Most patients go back to normal activities the next day.

  • Will My Nose Be Packed?
    • No. Packing is not used and you should be able to breathe through your nose after the procedure.

  • Is The Balloon Left In?
    • No. The balloon is positioned in the opening of the sinus, dilated, deflated and removed. This could take a few minutes to position the balloon in the correct location, but the dilation itself only takes a few seconds.

  • How Long Will I Be Off Work?
    • Most patients return to normal activities the next day and only need to take off work the day of the procedure.

  • When Can I Fly After The Procedure?
    • Most patients can travel two weeks after the procedure. However, many patients are able to travel sooner. This can be discussed with us and suggestions for your particular situation can be made.

  • Who Is A Candidate For Balloon Sinus Dilation?
    • The first step in determining if BSD is right for you is to have Dr. Williams review your history and CT scans. For patients who have failed medical therapy, BSD or sinus surgery maybe the best option to reversing your sinusitis cycle.

      General benchmarks are the recurrent or chronic sinusitis patients:
      In the past year, a sinus infection (symptoms lasting ten days or longer) on three separate occasions -with interim periods of no symptoms.
      Sinusitis symptoms lasting 12 or more weeks.

  • I Had Sinus Surgery Before. Am I A Candidate For BSD?
    • Yes. Some patients who have had surgery before are able to have BSD.

  • I Have A Deviated Septum. Will BSD Fix That?
    • No. BSD cannot be used to fix a deviated septum. However, that does not mean you would not benefit from a BSD. Some patients have a septum that is so deviated it just has to be fixed and OBSD will not help. Others have a mildly deviated septum but it is not causing them in any problems. If their root cause is from blocked sinuses, then OBSD might be the solution.

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