Many people who experience chronic sinusitis can now choose a highly-effective, revolutionary procedure called balloon sinuplasty to open blocked sinus passages and provide sinus relief. Learn more about this procedure and check out our guide to recovery for balloon sinuplasty.
How Does Balloon Sinuplasty Work?
Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally-invasive procedure that can be effective in providing long-term relief for sinusitis, a common condition that affects millions of people across the U.S. each year. The procedure takes place at the Southern California Sinus Institute centrally located in the county of Los Angeles in the city of West Hills.
In the procedure, tiny balloons are placed into the sinus drainage openings, then inflated over a few seconds, which permanently expands the sinus pathways and then removed. The sinuses are often flushed with saline or antibacterial solutions, to remove mucus and build-up that can cause sinus infections. The inflation and removal of the balloons enlarges the sinus pathways, restoring proper sinus drainage and reducing the risk of recurring sinus infections.
Guide to Recovery for Balloon Sinuplasty
The goal of balloon sinuplasty is to help patients find maximum relief from sinusitis—with minimal disruption to their life. Because the procedure is minimally-invasive and only requires local anesthesia, recovery can be very quick. But, as with any medical procedure, it’s important to follow all your doctor’s instructions for recovery to ensure the best outcome. Here’s what you can expect after surgery, and how you can manage your recovery from balloon sinuplasty. Keep in mind, recovery times and experiences can vary for each person.
What to Expect 24 Hours to One Week Following Surgery
Immediately after surgery, after the local anesthesia wears off, many people feel immediate relief from sinus pain and pressure but do have some mild to moderate congestion. Most people experience minimal discomfort and bleeding following surgery which can last up to 24 hours. There is no packing except a cotton ball placed to catch any dripping from the nostrils which is usually removed at home.
Within the first few days after surgery, most people can return to work and other normal activities. At SoCal Sinus, we often perform balloon sinuplasty on Thursdays and Fridays for patients, so that they can return to work by Monday.
Your doctor will give you full post-surgery instructions, but here are some general guidelines following balloon sinuplasty:
- Don’t blow your nose in the first 72 hours following the procedure to prevent bleeding.
- Rest for 12-24 hours after your procedure and then can resume normal activity, however do not exercise for 3 days following the procedure.
- Sleep with your head elevated for 24 hrs, to aid sinus drainage and avoid discomfort.
You’ll be given aftercare instructions as well. It’s very important to keep your sinus and nasal passages lubricated, so your doctor will give you a Neilmed Sinus Irrigation kit to use to rinse your nasal and sinus passages for the first few weeks after the procedure to help everything heal without scarring or infection. You may also be given an antibiotic to prevent infection. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions when taking any medications. Most patients are amazed at the minimal need for pain medications following the procedure but some may need Tylenol or motrin/advil to address headaches and any minor discomfort.
It’s normal following balloon sinuplasty to experience some minor symptoms, as the sinuses and nasal passages recover. Symptoms may include:
- Some bloody nasal discharge,
- Mild to moderate congestion, and
- Drowsiness or fatigue.
These minor symptoms should clear up within the first 2 weeks after your procedure, but if you experience any extreme symptoms, be sure to contact your doctor.
When to Contact Your Doctor
All procedures, even minimally-invasive procedures, carry risks. The largest concern following balloon sinuplasty is the risk of infection. The risk of infection is increased if you don’t properly use a sinus rinse after surgery. Contact your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Sharp sinus pain that doesn’t improve with approved pain relief medications
- Fever higher than 101° F
- Excessive bleeding lasting past 24 hours
- Continued swelling of the nose, face, or eyes, accompanied by nasal drainage of a thin, clear fluid.
Always follow any additional instructions on when to contact your doctor following balloon sinuplasty.
What to Expect Long-term
Many studies have shown that balloon sinuplasty is a highly effective long-term treatment for chronic or recurrent acute sinusitis. Of course, every individual is different. 90% of patients avoid further procedures on the nose and sinuses during their lifetime but 10% of patients may evolve and need traditional minimally invasive image-guided sinus surgery with or without septoplasty.
Why Choose Southern California Sinus Institute for Balloon Sinuplasty?
Dr. Cohen’s center in Los Angeles is centrally located in West Hills has also been recognized as a nationwide Sinus Center of Excellence, and often Dr. Cohen trains various nose and 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 for the past 11 years since it was FDA approved and has now treated over 5,000 patients and over 10,000 sinuses! Dr. Cohen has also been awarded a Castle-Connelly nationwide top doctor since 2017 and a Los Angeles Magazine Super Doctor since 2013.
Patients suffering from recurrent or chronic sinus infections generally find that the in-office balloon sinuplasty is an amazing cure for their debilitating 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.
Contact us today and let SoCal Sinus get you onto the road to better health and a better life.