Initially we were very skeptical about this technology, but now we do see its value. Before using it, we 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. We do see this as a nice option for frontal sinus disease, as well as for patients with minimal sinus disease who are looking for a less invasive solution. There is also a new option for light-guided balloon sinuplasty. Visit www.balloonsinuplasty.com for more information.
There is always novel technology and we are always as involved as possible. The Stratus from Acclarrent is really quite remarkable in handling refractory ethmoid and frontal recess disease. Also, ENTellus has a new balloon system which eventually will help keep us in the clinic.