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Sinuplasty is a new technique in sinus surgery. Instead of using endoscopic instruments such as microdebriders and forceps, surgeons use balloons to dilate the sinus openings. This technique is similar to angioplasty, which is the use of balloons to open blocked blood vessels.
The benefits of sinuplasty include less trauma to the surrounding tissue and preserving the natural sinus openings. Recovery may also be faster than conventional sinus surgery. Not all patients are candidates for this type of sinus surgery. For example, sinuplasty is not effective in removing nasal polyps or in patients with extensive scarring of their sinus openings.
The goals of sinuplasty are similar to those in traditional sinus surgery. At the Johns Hopkins Sinus Center, we use sinuplasty to treat recurrent and chronic sinusitis that is not improved with adequate medical therapy.
Sinuplasty is either performed under general anesthesia in the operating room, or in select patients, in the office under local anesthesia. Working endoscopically through the nose, our surgeons thread a guidance wire through the nostril and into the sinus cavity, which is then followed by a small balloon. The balloon is inflated and enlarges the sinus opening. This then allows the sinus cavity to drain better. Like traditional sinus surgery, sinuplasty does not involve cutting through the skin, as it is performed entirely through the nostrils. Therefore, most patients can go home the same day.