More than 37 million Americans suffer with chronic rhinosinusitis, a persistent inflammation of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses that causes a wide range of unpleasant physical symptoms, such as headache, facial pressure and pain, sinus drainage, nasal congestion, reduced sense of smell and taste, tooth pain, bad breath, and fatigue. These recurrent symptoms can significantly interfere with daily activities and diminish one’s quality of life.
Dr. Christopher Perry, founder of the Toledo Clinic ENT Sinus Center of Excellence, has helped thousands of chronic sinusitis sufferers (including pediatric patients) in our area breathe easier and feel better through a revolutionary, minimally invasive endoscopic procedure called Balloon Sinuplasty. During this procedure, a small, flexible balloon catheter is placed through the nostril and into the blocked sinus. The balloon is then inflated to gently restructure and open the sinus passageway, restoring normal sinus drainage and function. The procedure is similar in many ways to the balloon angioplasty technique used to open narrowed coronary arteries.
“I’ve done thousands of these procedures and found that Balloon Sinuplasty is just as effective at relieving symptoms of nasal congestion, sinus pressure and drainage, and headaches, and its long-term success rate is equal to or better than traditional sinus surgery,” he says.
Dr. Perry explains, “Conventional endoscopic sinus surgery involves the removal of bone and tissue to open up blocked sinus passageways, which can lead to post-operative pain and scarring and often requires uncomfortable nasal packing to control bleeding. In stark contrast, Balloon Sinuplasty simply restructures the bone and tissue around the natural opening into the sinus, which translates into less pain, less bleeding, faster recovery times, and no need for painful nasal packing.”
The Balloon Sinuplasty procedure until now has been performed in an operating room setting with the patient asleep under general anesthesia. But Dr. Perry offers a pioneered form of the procedure called In-Office Balloon Sinuplasty, which is performed right in the office using only a topical and local anesthetic. Not only is In-Office Balloon Sinuplasty more convenient and cost-effective than surgery at a hospital or surgery center, but it’s also just as safe and effective. What’s more, patients do not have to worry about the risk of side effects or complications associated with general anesthesia. Dr. Perry notes, “The experience is much like going to the dentist’s office to fill a cavity.”
“The advent of In-Office Balloon Sinuplasty makes it possible for me to help chronic sinusitis sufferers who do not want general anesthesia or who are unable to tolerate it. In essence, more patients who would benefit from this procedure now have access to it. Our Balloon Sinuplasty patients are also very pleased to learn that there is virtually no downtime following the in-office procedure. In fact, most are able to return to work or school the next day,” says Dr. Perry.
Balloon Sinuplasty isn’t appropriate for every patient, and traditional endoscopic sinus surgery is still an important tool utilized by ENT surgeons. But patients who are candidates for this revolutionary procedure very often find long-awaited relief from their debilitating sinusitis symptoms—and that’s something worth celebrating.❦