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  • Sinus surgery vs balloon sinuplasty?

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    Old 07-15-2013, 12:49 PM   #1
    adpace
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    Sinus surgery vs balloon sinuplasty?

    I was scheduled to have a balloon sinuplasty in a couple of weeks. I have inflammation in both the sphenoid and maxillary sinuses and I get chronic infections. My doctor agreed that a balloon sinuplasty was the way to go given that it is minimally invasive, has a short recovery rate and has a relatively high success rate.

    Well, I just got a call from the scheduler who is telling me that my insurance will not cover the balloon procedure and so the doctor is going to do it the "regular way" instead of a balloon procedure. I asked her what that meant, but of course, she is the scheduler only and can't really give me a lot of details. I asked about recovery and she said it will be about the same. I was told the balloon recovery would only be about 24-48 hours. Now I am really nervous. . . I've heard all kinds of horror stories about sinus surgeries not going well and actually causing more harm than good. The lack of issues with the balloon procedure is what I was excited about and really hoping it would help without worrying about messing something up worse.

    Now, I will see my doctor in a week for the pre-op appointment and will definitely be asking lots of questions then. But, in the meantime, I'm hoping you all can help me figure out what on earth she was talking about. Any ideas on what the "regular way" could mean? Are we probably talking traditional sinus surgery? Should I be concerned? Isn't that a really long recovery period? Aaaagh! Please help!! Pretty worried now. . .

     
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    Old 07-15-2013, 05:58 PM   #2
    zip452
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    Re: Sinus surgery vs balloon sinuplasty?

    I am pretty sure the regular way means endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS). You can look it up. I have not had it but am booked to have it. I have heard that the recovery is 1-2 weeks, the first week you are pretty out of it, sometimes have packing, etc in your nose, and the 2nd week you start to improve as it heals. It actually involves cutting, etc. so is more invasive than the balloon procedure. Hopefully your pre-surgical appointment goes well and your questions all get answered. The balloon procedures are not covered by many insurances and are not covered. If you have the money and it really means that much to you - you could probably discuss with your surgeon paying for the balloon procedure (or maybe parts - I would have to pay for the equipment, etc. but the anesthesia is still covered, etc). Hopefully they can help you out. It sounds like you have many sinuses that have issues - so hopefully both methods would work.

    Last edited by zip452; 07-15-2013 at 08:41 PM. Reason: spelling, etc

     
    Old 07-16-2013, 06:32 AM   #3
    adpace
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    Re: Sinus surgery vs balloon sinuplasty?

    Thanks for the reply!

    Well, after my emotional response died down, I was able to think about this logically. Of course it has to mean FESS surgery. I'm just not willing to start there. I can't understand for the life of me why some insurance companies won't cover it as it is really less risky. It was FDA approved back in 2005, not exactly still "experimental" or "investigational", but that's what my insurance company was claiming. And it's not that FESS can't be great - I have heard good things from some people, too. I just know that it's highly dependent on a good surgeon among other things. I trust my surgeon, but I would rather start with the less invasive route.

    So, I guess the good news for me is that my husband just took a new job and we will be on different insurance in a few weeks. It appears that plan will cover the balloon procedure. I talked to them on the phone yesterday, and although they couldn't give me really specific information because I'm not technically enrolled yet, it looks like they generally cover it. Basically it means I have to reschedule the surgery. Definitely a pain because my parents were going to be in town and keep my kids/drive me to and from the surgical center, but at least it looks like it will be doable. My husband said no way to starting with FESS. We would pay out of pocket before that. So, with the insurance change, it looks like good news for my case.

    Thanks again for taking the time to respond!!

     
    Old 07-21-2013, 06:15 PM   #4
    jwmslv
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    Re: Sinus surgery vs balloon sinuplasty?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by adpace View Post
    I was scheduled to have a balloon sinuplasty in a couple of weeks. I have inflammation in both the sphenoid and maxillary sinuses and I get chronic infections. My doctor agreed that a balloon sinuplasty was the way to go given that it is minimally invasive, has a short recovery rate and has a relatively high success rate.

    Well, I just got a call from the scheduler who is telling me that my insurance will not cover the balloon procedure and so the doctor is going to do it the "regular way" instead of a balloon procedure. I asked her what that meant, but of course, she is the scheduler only and can't really give me a lot of details. I asked about recovery and she said it will be about the same. I was told the balloon recovery would only be about 24-48 hours. Now I am really nervous. . . I've heard all kinds of horror stories about sinus surgeries not going well and actually causing more harm than good. The lack of issues with the balloon procedure is what I was excited about and really hoping it would help without worrying about messing something up worse.

    Now, I will see my doctor in a week for the pre-op appointment and will definitely be asking lots of questions then. But, in the meantime, I'm hoping you all can help me figure out what on earth she was talking about. Any ideas on what the "regular way" could mean? Are we probably talking traditional sinus surgery? Should I be concerned? Isn't that a really long recovery period? Aaaagh! Please help!! Pretty worried now. . .

     
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