Sinusitis is swelling in your sinus that causes congestion and discomfort.
- Infections by bacteria, fungi or viruses
- A deviated septum, meaning a crooked wall in between your nostrils
- Small growths called polyps on the lining of your sinuses
The main goal of sinus surgery is to relieve your symptoms and cut down on how many infections you get.
An operation should also help you breathe better through your nose. And if the chronic congestion has affected your sense of smell or taste, surgery might help with that, too.
Types of surgery
This is a common procedure. Doctors insert very thin and flexible instruments called endoscopes into your nose. One instrument has a small camera lens that sends images back to a screen. That way, the doctor can see where your sinuses are blocked and guide the other instruments that can gently remove polyps, scar tissue, and others.
Balloon sinuplasty is a procedure to clear blocked sinuses. This is also known as balloon catheter dilation surgery.
Balloon sinuplasty is most recommended for people with chronic sinusitis, after other treatments for their condition have been ineffective. Its complications are minimal and there’s no cutting and no removal of bones or tissues.
But still, this is a type of sinus surgery and it carries the same kinds of risks that other types of sinus surgeries do.
Risks and complications
- All forms of sinus surgery carry similar risks, and balloon sinuplasty is no exception. The greatest potential complication is intracranial complications. In these cases, the connection between the nose and the brain is affected during the surgery and brain fluid can leak into your nose. This complication doesn’t happen often and is usually fixed before the surgery is even over.
- There’s also a chance that the appearance of your nose could change slightly after the surgery. Sometimes the swelling doesn’t subside for several days, or the nose looks different once the swelling goes away.
- If you aren’t able to cleanse the area correctly, an infection might develop that requires medical attention. And although most sinus surgery improves your sense of smell, there are times that the surgery actually makes it worse.
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