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Old 01-26-2013, 07:28 AM   #1
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Balloon Sinuplasty

I'm wondering if anyone has had a balloon sinuplasty or has any input as to its effectiveness.

I'm finally considering a visit to my ENT for my sinus issues, but the biggest thing that has kept me from going so far is knowing that surgery is likely the only thing left - as in, I've tried everything else: antibiotics are a constant in my life, prescription nose sprays, saline rinses and countless OTC remedies. I literally think I have tried it all and I'm concerned that surgery is the only treatment left, but I have had what amounts to a constant migraine for the past week due to a headache starting from sinus pressure and ballooning into a full-on migraine.

So. . . I feel as if I'm not left with a lot of options. I certainly can't continue to go to work each day with the pain I'm in, but living on painkillers/migraine meds isn't really a viable option either.

I don't feel generally congested and I do believe my lower (maxillary) sinuses are clear as I have no problems with my saline rinse and the pain isn't there anyway. I think the problems are probably originating in the frontal sinuses, particularly on the left side as this is where my pain is located and I don't feel that my saline rinse is getting to this area when I try "flip turn" or "upside down" rinses. I know I'll have to visit my ENT to know for sure, but again, I'm concerned surgery may be my only option at this point.

So I would like to know if anyone has had this procedure and how effective it was for you (or the person you know who had it). I'm quite sure I also have a deviated septum, but frankly, I don't want to risk any surgery that will make my problem worse instead of better. Any info you all have would be greatly appreciated.

 
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Old 01-26-2013, 08:29 PM   #2
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Re: Balloon Sinuplasty

No, but to hear you tell it, there's a difference between septoplasty and sinus lastly? I think I may have a similar problem as you, with the problem being in frontal sinuses, but I had septum surgery and have had more obstruction ever since.

Would be great to here some input on "balloon sinuplasty".

 
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Old 01-27-2013, 03:18 AM   #3
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Re: Balloon Sinuplasty

I've had the balloon sunuplasty procedure and it can be effective but, based on what you describe, you'll really have to talk to your ENT - and get a CT scan. - to figure out if a balloon procedure will help address your issues.

The frontal sinuses are particularly tricky to reach and the failure rate for balloon sinuplasty in the frontal sinus region is much higher than with other sinus regions, so a balloon procedure may not be the right solution based on what you describe.

I had the balloon sinuplasty to open my left frontal sinus about 2 years ago - several years after an Endoscopic Modified Lothrop Procedure had removed bony tissue and created a patent opening for my frontal sinuses. One of the openings created during the EMLP had closed down over the years and my doctor used the balloon to re-open that side. In my case, though, the balloon procedure would have been impossible if they hadn't performed the Lothrop first.

I guess the bottom line is to find a surgeon you trust - one who specializes in treatment of chronic sinusitis and NOT just a generalist office-based ENT - and let the doctor determine what procedure is needed.

If the doctor recommends the balloon procedure, the recovery will be easier than from most other procedures but the doctor may leave a stent in for several weeks to help insure that the openings made by the ballon don't close up, so that's a downside. On the plus side you won't need post-surgical debridement (which can be painful) and you can return too work very quickly (3 days vs. a week for a more invasive procedure).

 
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:20 AM   #4
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Re: Balloon Sinuplasty

I had the procedure (balloon sinuplasty) done for my maxillary sinuses 3 months ago done in a doctors office. It was very effective and worked for me. You will have to have a CT done with confirmed diagnosis of mucosal thickening, or abnormal anatomy for insurance to pay for this. a CT is very easy to get done and your ENT can refer you for one. Make sure you ask the ENT which sinus balloon company he prefers, there are 3 out there, but only 1 that has a long guidewire that makes the procedure the safest. the surgeon will slide a very small guidewire up into your affected sinus and it lights up the interior of your sinus and confirms he is in the right space, once there, he will gently slide a balloon up to the sinus and dilate the opening, restoring your normal outflow of your sinus. The only factor is how deviated your septum is, which could possibly prevent him from doing this in office. if this is the case, you can get this done at an outpatient surgery center in which case you would have to have general anastesia. it's much less invasive than traditional sinus surgery and recent data suggests it's just as effective. (Plaza, et, al). if it's done in office there is mild discomfort, but not as much as having a tooth filled in a dentist office. You will be back to work the very next day and have relief immediately or within a few days. If your ENT does not recommend this procedure, find a new ENT as he is not keeping up with technology. this procedure has been FDA cleared for 7 years and will be the standard way things are done in the near future.







Quote:
Originally Posted by adpace View Post
I'm wondering if anyone has had a balloon sinuplasty or has any input as to its effectiveness.

I'm finally considering a visit to my ENT for my sinus issues, but the biggest thing that has kept me from going so far is knowing that surgery is likely the only thing left - as in, I've tried everything else: antibiotics are a constant in my life, prescription nose sprays, saline rinses and countless OTC remedies. I literally think I have tried it all and I'm concerned that surgery is the only treatment left, but I have had what amounts to a constant migraine for the past week due to a headache starting from sinus pressure and ballooning into a full-on migraine.

So. . . I feel as if I'm not left with a lot of options. I certainly can't continue to go to work each day with the pain I'm in, but living on painkillers/migraine meds isn't really a viable option either.

I don't feel generally congested and I do believe my lower (maxillary) sinuses are clear as I have no problems with my saline rinse and the pain isn't there anyway. I think the problems are probably originating in the frontal sinuses, particularly on the left side as this is where my pain is located and I don't feel that my saline rinse is getting to this area when I try "flip turn" or "upside down" rinses. I know I'll have to visit my ENT to know for sure, but again, I'm concerned surgery may be my only option at this point.

So I would like to know if anyone has had this procedure and how effective it was for you (or the person you know who had it). I'm quite sure I also have a deviated septum, but frankly, I don't want to risk any surgery that will make my problem worse instead of better. Any info you all have would be greatly appreciated.

 
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:20 PM   #5
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Re: Balloon Sinuplasty

I just wanted to say "Thank You" to you all for the helpful info! I think I am possibly going to make an appointment with my ENT over Spring Break. I had a CT Scan done some years ago and the doctor's words to me were "you have some 'mild' structural abnormalities but nothing that should be causing the problems you are describing". He sent me on my way with a sinus rinse kit (which actually seemed to cause my infection to worsen at that time - I've since changed how I rinse) and yet another prescription for antibiotics. Hmmm. . . wish I would have asked more questions back then. Things are worse now than they were then, though, so I'll just have to go in and see. It seems like I either HAVE a current infection, just got rid of an infection or feel one coming on. The totally infection-free days are becoming less and less frequent. I will be seeing a different ENT, BTW.

And on that note, I'm curious about choosing an ENT. GCSJR, you say not to go with an office based ENT. I'm conflicted about this. I have a (different) ENT who I really like that removed my tonsils and adenoids just a couple of years ago. I can see how things might be different for sinus issues though - as in, just because he did a great job with my tonsils, that doesn't mean a sinus surgery would go as smoothly. Do you have any recommendations on how to go about this. I'm thinking Baylor Medical may be a great place to look here (LARGE teaching school, but then many of their graduates go on to work in Baylor medical complexes and perhaps I could just as well see one of them?). I'm just not even sure where to start. . .

And Sinus Guy, thanks for the recommendation about choosing a doctor who does balloon sinuplasty and with the guide. Another reason I feel conflicted about staying with my current ENT - I know he offers this and even has it posted on their website. Not saying that's everything, but at least I know he's going to definitely look at that as an option.

In any case, I appreciate the time you all took to answer. Hopefully by this time next year I will have bid my lifelong sinus issues goodbye!

 
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Old 02-24-2014, 06:04 AM   #6
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Re: Balloon Sinuplasty

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinus guy View Post
...if it's done in office there is mild discomfort, but not as much as having a tooth filled in a dentist office.
Hey guys, new here. Just wanted to chime in. I had to kind of disagree with this statement. I had my balloon sinuplasty done the other day. Four locations: left and right frontal and maxillary sinuses. To say that it is less painful or even akin to having a tooth filled is a bit of a stretch. I've sat in the dentist's office for hours and had multiple cavities filled and I would not compare the two. This procedure was much more uncomfortable, especially with the local anesthetic application. That alone caused me to pass out in the chair.

I liken the sound of each "opening" to the pop of a large Christmas tree light being stepped on, with a shooting pain up the forehead. I would have prefered to have been put under.

Maybe my sinuses were especially tight, I don't know. Or maybe I went in there with the wrong expectations. I have a fairly high pain tolerance but still felt the need to take pain medication afterwards. Not nearly as much as the doctor prescribed (I ended up flushing 3/4 of a bottle of Lortab down the toilet) but still.

Regardless, I'm happy to have had it done and yes, I'm glad I didn't need to be put under and go through all of that. I'm really looking forward to experiencing life without chronic sinus pain.

 
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Old 02-25-2014, 07:22 PM   #7
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landover HB User
Re: Balloon Sinuplasty

Quote:
Originally Posted by nixon08 View Post
Hey guys, new here. Just wanted to chime in. I had to kind of disagree with this statement. I had my balloon sinuplasty done the other day. Four locations: left and right frontal and maxillary sinuses. To say that it is less painful or even akin to having a tooth filled is a bit of a stretch. I've sat in the dentist's office for hours and had multiple cavities filled and I would not compare the two. This procedure was much more uncomfortable, especially with the local anesthetic application. That alone caused me to pass out in the chair.

I liken the sound of each "opening" to the pop of a large Christmas tree light being stepped on, with a shooting pain up the forehead. I would have prefered to have been put under.

Maybe my sinuses were especially tight, I don't know. Or maybe I went in there with the wrong expectations. I have a fairly high pain tolerance but still felt the need to take pain medication afterwards. Not nearly as much as the doctor prescribed (I ended up flushing 3/4 of a bottle of Lortab down the toilet) but still.

Regardless, I'm happy to have had it done and yes, I'm glad I didn't need to be put under and go through all of that. I'm really looking forward to experiencing life without chronic sinus pain.

 
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