Stuffy nose. Difficulty breathing. Facial pain or pressure. When these symptoms persist to the point they affect your quality of life, you may have recurrent or chronic sinusitis.
Stuffy nose. Difficulty breathing. Facial pain or pressure. When these symptoms persist to the point they affect your quality of life, you may have recurrent or chronic sinusitis — a condition in which the mucous membranes lining the nose and sinuses become inflamed. And if you do, you may be a candidate for balloon sinuplasty, which the ear-nose-throat (ENT) specialists at The Iowa Clinic can now perform right in the office.
“Patients come in, receive topical anesthetics and remain awake during the procedure, which takes just 30 minutes or less,” says Douglas Schulte, M.D., an ENT with The Iowa Clinic. “The relief is virtually immediate. Most feel normal by nighttime and rarely need pain medication.”
Today's sinus procedures are light years away from the invasive procedures of the past. Instead of removing bone to open up sinuses, balloon sinuplasty involves inserting a small, flexible balloon catheter into blocked sinus passageways. When the balloon is inflated, it gently widens the passageway while preserving the integrity of the sinus lining. Nasal packing is rarely needed and, when it is, doctors typically use a dissolvable foam that minimizes discomfort.
“In-office balloon sinuplasty is very effective — the passageways remain open for 94 percent of patients. That's about the same rate as with the bone-removing procedure performed in operating rooms,” says Dr. Schulte.
But in-office balloon sinuplasty isn't for everybody. “Some people prefer not to be awake during the procedure. Others may have anatomical characteristics that make it impossible, such as a deviated septum,” explains Schulte. “If you are a good candidate, this is a great option and it avoids the added costs from the hospital or surgery center.”
Symptoms of Chronic Sinusitis
- Facial pain, pressure, or congestion
- Difficulty breathing through the nose
- Yellow or green mucous discharge from the nose
- Teeth pain
- Loss of sense of smell or taste
- Sore throat
- Bad breath
To schedule a consultation with an ENT specialist, call 515-875-9450.