Treatment for chronic sinusitis
Thomas Sellner, MD, is an ear-nose-and -throat physician at Banner Del E. Webb Medical Center. He can be reached at (623) 223-4640.
Question: I suffer with chronic sinusitis. Is there anything that can relieve the constant pressure, headaches and sinus infections? I have been considering sinus surgery. Are there any other options?
Answer: While sinus surgery is a viable option for treating chronic sinusitis, there is a relatively new procedure called balloon sinuplasty.
It is performed in the surgical suite, but it is a minimally invasive procedure and patients can usually return to work and normal activities in three days or less. The surgery can be done under light sedation or general anesthesia.
The procedure is performed using flexible instruments that allow the surgeon to restore normal drainage and function while preserving your natural anatomy. The technology uses a balloon to gently dilate your sinus passages. It is similar to angioplasty, where a balloon is used to open arteries. After the balloon opens the nasal pathway, it is deflated and removed. Many patients have normal breathing and drainage within a few days.
An ear, nose and throat physician can determine if this procedure would work well for you. While it is a fairly new procedure, more than 67,000 patients have been treated to date and it has a high patient-satisfaction rate.
Chronic sinusitis is defined as having three months or more of sinus inflammation. Among the common symptoms associated with the condition are facial pain, pressure, congestion or fullness; difficulty breathing through the nose; yellow or green nasal discharge; teeth pain; loss of the sense of smell or taste; headache and fatigue; sore throat; and bad breath.
Reviewed September 2010