By Dr. Todd
Balloon SinuplastyTM technology is a FDA-cleared, endoscopic, catheter-based system for patients suffering from sinusitis. The technology uses a small, flexible, Sinus Balloon Catheter to open up blocked sinus passageways, restoring normal sinus drainage and function.
Using the Balloon SinuplastyTM system, your physician gently places a Sinus Guide Catheter and a flexible Sinus Guidewire through the nostrils to access the target sinus. Next, a Sinus Balloon Catheter is advanced over the Sinus Guidewire. The Sinus Balloon Catheter is positioned across the blocked ostium and gently inflated. The Balloon SinuplastyTM system is removed, leaving an open sinus passageway and restoring normal drainage and function.
The Benefits in Using the Balloon SinuplastyTM technology are that it is so minimally invasive. There may be little need for tissue removal and thus reduced bleeding and shortened recovery time. It can also be performed in conjunction with other procedures as well.
Initially I was very skeptical about this technology, but now I do see its value. Prior to using it, I thought of it as just an air filled balloon pushing fluid out of the tissues. In reality it is a “bone crushing” fluid filled balloon that gets up to 1200 psi. It also dilates the openings up to 7 mm, which is huge in relation to their normal size. The safety has been unparalleled and the short term success rates have been great. Clinically this is a new technology and time will tell what the long term success rates are. I do see this as a nice option for frontal sinus disease as well as patients with minimal sinus disease who are looking for a less invasive solution. For more information see www.balloonsinuplasty.com or www.acclarent.com.