This innovative procedure done at our office allows for the opening of diseased sinus passages while the patient is awake in the office. Unlike traditional endoscopic sinus surgery, Balloon Sinuplasty avoids extensive cutting and traumatic injury. Instead, the procedure involves guiding a floppy wire into the problem sinuses and advancing a small balloon over the wire. The balloon is then inflated briefly to dilate the normal sinus opening. After the balloon is deflated, the wire and balloon are removed. By restoring the opening into the sinus, Balloon Sinuplasty enables long term reduction of sinus inflammation and drainage of sinus infection.
How do we ensure the comfort of our patients during Balloon Sinuplasty while awake? First, we educate our patients about the nature of their sinus disease and the purpose of the procedure, so they are active participants in their healing process. They prepare at home with salt water nasal rinses, medicated nasal sprays, and other appropriate medications to decrease swelling and inflammation in the nose and sinuses.
Upon arrival for the procedure, a patient experiences a welcoming and soothing environment. Low ambient light, music through headphones, and the calm manner of Dr. Agrama and his team create a serene and relaxing clinic setting. Then, the patient is numbed for the procedure with a series of gentle nose sprays and cotton sheets soaked with anesthesia placed into the nose. After this initial numbing, more anesthesia is placed with tiny injections to minimize further discomfort. Unlike some clinics, we are able to avoid the use of narcotics and sedatives for most of our patients, reducing the potential for complications during and after Balloon Sinuplasty.
Dr. Agrama has successfully dilated over 2,500 sinuses since he began using Balloon Sinuplasty in 2006. He performed one of the first awake cases ever in May 2006, immediately seeing the potential for using the balloons in the clinic setting. The advantages of Balloon Sinuplasty include avoiding the trauma of more invasive surgery, the risks of general anesthesia, and the costs of the hospital or a surgery center. After healing from the procedure, most patients enjoy a rapid and long-lasting relief of sinus symptoms such as pain, pressure, and congestion.
Complications of Balloon Sinuplasty while awake may include bleeding, infection, scarring, failure to resolve sinusitis, and the need for other procedures. With less risks, lower costs, and a faster recovery, Balloon Sinuplasty is an attractive option for many patients suffering from chronic sinusitis or frequent sinus infections. If you suffer from chronic sinusitis, Dr. Agrama invites you to schedule a consultation with him to evaluate whether your sinus problem would benefit from Awake Balloon Sinuplasty.