In the rare instance where maximal medical allergy therapy is not enough, surgery needs to be considered. Sinus surgery typically performed by cutting away tissue to open blocked sinus passageways. Although the technologies are vastly improved it still ends up being a significant surgery.
We have been doing this procedure now since 2006 and have by far the most regional experience with it. Now there are new devices (the Stratus) for ethmoid polyps and the Finesse by Entellus Medical. We are involved in the clinical trials for these as well. If it is out there we will know about it.
The Benefits in Using the Balloon Sinuplasty TM 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. There is now even a light guided wire which may allow for office procedures. For more information on this exciting new technology see www.balloonsinuplasty.com or www.acclarent.com.