Balloon Sinuplasty Basics, Treatment Cost, Recovery and Side Effects

Balloon Sinuplasty

In-Office Balloon Sinuplasty Treatment for Sinusitis Conditions

As a minimally invasive in-office procedure to relieve sinusitis, Dr. Alen Cohen has treated thousands of patients throughout greater Los Angeles and Southern California who are suffering from sinusitis. Sinusitis is an incredibly common condition affecting millions of people each year. Sinusitis is commonly caused by inflammation of the paranasal sinuses as may results from allergies, nasal polyps, chronic infection (bacterial or fungal), autoimmune disorders or from chronic nasal obstruction due to a deviated septum or enlarged turbinates. Sinusitis commonly results in sinus headaches, facial and sinus pain, chronic runny nose/postnasal drip, chronic cough, recurrent ear or eye infections, ear congestion or fullness, and even tooth pain.

The Southern California Sinus Institute is pleased to be able to offer patients suffering from recurrent or chronic sinusitis, a minimally invasive in-office solution, called Balloon Sinuplasty™, which is performed in our Los Angeles area offices

Los Angeles Balloon Sinuplasty

When Dr. Cohen performs in-office balloon sinuplasty, his goal is to help patients suffering from sinus related pain to feel relief quickly and with minimal disruption to their life. In order to do so, balloon sinuplasty is used to expand sinus pathways through reshaping the anatomy, and thereby restoring proper drainage capabilities.

When patients undergo in-office balloon sinuplasty at our Los Angeles area office, Dr. Cohen will place tiny balloons into the sinus drainage openings and inflate them over a few seconds to help expand the sinus pathway permanently. Then the balloons are removed thus enlarging the sinus pathway; as such the likelihood of recurring infection or sinus headaches is significantly reduced. In-office balloon sinuplasty via Dr. Cohen’s minimally invasive technique does not require general anesthesia and is done in the office under local anesthesia via topical medications, and there is virtually no recovery time following the procedure. Dr. Cohen often performs the procedure on a Friday for patient convenience and patients are routinely back to normal activity over the next 24-48 hours.

Los Angeles area patients who are particularly good candidates for in-office balloon sinuplasty are those whose sinus pain and infections do not resolve properly with medication and/or are truly tired of medicating incessantly and getting infections every 1-3 months.

Dr. Cohen’s center in Los Angeles is centrally located in West Hills has also been recognized as an <b>nationwide Sinus Center of Excellence</b>, and often Dr. Cohen trains various sinus surgeons from all over the United States on how to safely and effectively perform this procedure in the office under local anesthesia with little to no down time. He has successfully been performing the procedure in the office since 2009 when it was FDA approved and has now treated over thousands and thousands of patients successfully!

Excellent Results from In-Office Balloon Sinuplasty Procedure

Patients suffering from recurring or chronic sinus infections generally find that the in-office balloon sinuplasty is an amazing cure for recurrent sinusitis or chronic sinusitis. Dr. Cohen also regularly combines the procedure with in-office turbinate reduction in order to also improve breathing through the nose day and night for patients, as many patients with chronic sinusitis also suffer nose and sinus congestion. Patients routinely report the procedure provides the following positive results:

  • Instant relief from sinus pain and pressure
  • Significant reduction in the number of sinus infections
  • Reduction in medical bills by diminishing need for future prescriptions and doctor office visits
  • Lasting and ongoing relief from sinusitis
  • Improved breathing through their nose
  • Significantly improved quality of life
  • Minimal disruption to daily activities
  • Minimal pain or discomfort
  • Permanent results
  • Minimal cost as compared to surgery in the OR setting with anesthesia

FAQ’s for Office Balloon Sinus Dilation procedure: 

  1. Is the procedure covered by insurance?  Yes.  95% of insured patients will have this procedure approved by their insurance carrier.  Your doctor will get prior-authorization from your insurance carrier to verify your benefits.  You may be responsible, however, for any deductibles or copays.  
  1. Does it hurt?  You will experience facial pressure, which is normal, but pain should be minimal if any. Should you experience pain at any time during procedure, your doctor can adjust the anesthesia to maximize your comfort.  A few of Socal Sinus Institute’s employees have had this procedure done and can speak to you from personal experience if you have any questions for them.  Most patients say the experience is like a dental procedure. 
  1. Will I be put to sleep?  No, general anesthesia is not administered.  Patients will usually be given oral, topical, and local medication as part of anesthesia protocol.  You will be awake, similar to a dental procedure. 
  1. Does the balloon stay in?  No, once the balloon is in place it is dilated for a few seconds then deflated and removed.  The “doorways” to your sinuses will be permanently remodeled. 
  1. What are most common post-op side effects?  Some patients may experience headache, nasal congestion, mild bloody drainage, and facial pressure.  This is temporary and in most cases will resolve in 1-2 days after the procedure. 
  1. How long will I miss work/school?  In most cases, patients can return to work/school the very next day or the following day.  Your doctor will advise you of your limitations, if any. 
  1. How long has the procedure been around for and how experienced is Dr. Cohen? Sinus balloon dilation has been around for over a decade and there is substantial data supporting the safety and efficacy of the procedure.  Dr. Cohen is an early adopter of this technology and has been doing the procedure for 12 years; as such he serves as a training center or “Sinus Center of Excellence” for other physicians to learn how to do this procedure.  Over the last 12 years the group has done over 5000 patients in the office and has the most experience in all of LA and Ventura Counties. 
  1. How effective is Balloon Sinus Dilation?  A recent study showed that in-office Balloon Sinus Dilation is just as effective as traditional sinus surgery (aka Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery – FESS).  However, patients recover quicker and have less post-op side effects with an in-office balloon procedure. 
  1. How long will results last?  There is now sufficient data showing long term efficacy and indefinite results (beyond 3 years).  Your outcomes will typically depend on the severity of your sinus disease.  There is a very low revision rate for this procedure (less than 10%) in Dr. Cohen’s hands, which is close to the same revision rate for traditional endoscopic sinus surgery. 
  1. Is any tissue removed?  No, there is no tissue removal when dilating your sinuses.  Your doctor will discuss possible removal of tissue with you only if you have structures in your nose (i.e. deviated septum, polyps, enlarged turbinates etc) that he will need to address as well to perform the procedure well and address all your issues. 
  1. How long does the procedure take?  The procedure itself usually takes under 30 minutes, however the anesthesia/prep time for the procedure usually takes around 30 minutes as well.  As such patients are usually in the office between 60-90 minutes.   
  1. Will this cure my sinus disease?  Per say, there is no ‘cure’ for sinus disease, however this procedure should greatly improve your quality of life and symptoms by decreasing the frequency and severity of future sinus infections and permanently improve your breathing.  This procedure changes your anatomy permanently, which addresses the underlying problem, rather than just treating symptoms, like with antibiotics or steroids. Many sinus sufferers also have inflammation of the nasal and sinus passages (i.e allergies) and that will still have to be addressed at times with either rinses, nasal steroid or antihistamine sprays and / or allergy medications.  However once your anatomy is fixed so things can flow properly, medications and rinses can properly work on decreasing the inflammation.  
  1. Do I need to discontinue blood thinners prior to procedure?  In most situations Dr. Cohen will ask you to stop all blood thinners like aspirin, motrin, advil, other NSAIDs, Plavix, Coumadin etc. 1 week before the procedure.   
  1. Do I need to have a pre-op before the procedure by my primary physician?  Absolutely not since this is no more invasive than a dental procedure.   
  1. Can I eat anything prior to procedure?  Yes, we recommend eating a regular meal before taking your pre-procedure medications. 
  1. Why do I need to take sedatives and other meds before the procedure?  Over the last decade, expert sinus surgeon, Dr. Alen Cohen, has found that patients get anxious when having an unfamiliar procedure done and as such he finds that the low dose medications he prescribes help patients relax and not be anxious during the procedure.  The doses he prescribes are very safe and patients are talking and awake through the procedure but relaxed.   
  1. What is turbinate reduction which is often done with the Balloon Sinuplasty procedure?  That is a 5 minute procedure where Dr. Cohen will “liposuction” the inside of your inferior turbinates to help with nasal congestion and obstruction when breathing through your nose and will further help the sinuses drain properly. 
  1. What can I expect during the recovery?  During the first 3 days patients state that it feels like a sinus cold with a mild headache and congestion.  This resolves quickly if you are diligent with your rinses at least 3-5 times per day.  Around day 5 patients start to notice improved breathing and reduced sinus pressure and it continues to improve daily up to 30 days, during which time we suggest rinsing still at least twice a day.  Final results are seen 3-4 weeks after the procedure.  Usually at 4 weeks most patients report to us that they wish they had done this procedure decades ago as it has significantly improved their quality of life during day and while sleeping.  Some bed partners even report that they snore less!

To find out if you’re a candidate for Dr. Cohen’s revolutionary in-office balloon sinuplasty with or without turbinate reduction, contact our sinus expert today. Also remember that most PPO insurances and Medicare prefer this procedure to more invasive sinus surgery in an operating room as it significantly reduces costs and copays for patients.