Balloon Sinuplasty

Balloon sinuplasty is a new, minimally invasive treatment for patients with chronic or acute sinus issues, including anything from chronic congestion to recurrent yearly sinus infections. Dr. Schubkegel has specialized in balloon sinuplasty for more than five years, and has been providing them in his office for the last two. For the procedure, patients are sedated and Dr. Schubkegel dilates the nasal passages using a small balloon. Recovery time is quick, and most patients experience relief almost immediately. If you’re experiencing chronic or recurrent sinus issues, a medical examination and quick consultation with Dr. Schubkegel will help you determine if balloon sinuplasty is right for you.

Common Questions about Balloon Sinuplasty

What is balloon sinuplasty?
Balloon sinuplasty is a safe, minimally invasive treatment for patients suffering from chronic sinusitis or recurrent acute rhinosinusitis. It can be done right in Dr. Schubkegel’s office, and requires little recovery time. For the procedure, Dr. Schubkegel inserts a small balloon into the patient’s sinuses. The balloon is inflated, opening the drainage passages, and then removed. This relieves the obstruction in that area, making it easier for patients to breathe comfortably.

What is balloon sinuplasty used to treat?
There are two conditions commonly associated with balloon sinuplasty: chronic rhinosinusitis, or recurrent, acute rhinosinusitis. Rhinosinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses with a variety of symptoms, including congestion, headaches, and a runny, stuffy, or sneezy nose.

When is it time for balloon sinuplasty?
Dr. Schubkegel is a specialist, so patients who come to see him have often gone through previous treatments that failed, or they’ve been referred by their primary care physician. Balloon sinuplasty is a great option when other treatments aren’t working, or when your condition has progressed to the point that it’s affecting, or will soon affect, your quality of life.

Your first appointment with Dr. Schubkegel will be a consultation and examination, meant to get an idea of your symptoms and the severity of the problem. He’ll examine the nose and sinuses, passing a small tube into the area to visualize the entirety of the nasal chamber. If a medical treatment is not appropriate, a mapping x-ray will be obtained to give Dr. Schubkegel more information and to outline the anatomic structures of the patient. You and Dr. Schubkegel will also go over any treatment that have been tried in the past. Based on that information, you and Dr. Schubkegel will work together to determine if balloon sinuplasty is the right course of treatment for your condition.

What does balloon sinuplasty feel like?
It varies from person to person. For each patient, sedation is given at the time of the procedure, and many patients don’t remember much of anything. Some have reported feeling pressure around the nose or sinuses.

Is balloon sinuplasty painful?
Occasionally, patients have reported experiencing discomfort. Dr. Schubkegel is careful to work within the comfort zones of his patients, and he’ll help you work through any anxiety you might have going in to the procedure. You’ll receive sedation and pain relief before and after the treatment to reduce the likelihood of any discomfort.

Are there any risks associated with balloon sinuplasty?
Balloon sinuplasty is a safe, minimally invasive procedure. However, the treatment isn’t a cure. Patients may still have sinus problems on occasion, including stuffiness and infections. Due to the nature of the procedure, there are minor risks to the structures around the treated area, but Dr. Schubkegel is careful not to stray from the previously charted path. He’s a specialist with years of experience with the procedure.

What is recovery from balloon sinuplasty like?
Typically patients return to work quickly. Often, the very next day. You may be advised to avoid heavy-lifting or strenuous exercise for seven to ten days after your treatment, but recovery doesn’t interfere with most daily routines.

How do I care for myself after the procedure?
Most patients feel better almost immediately after their treatment. Some are asked to keep their nose moist with a salt-water solution administered as a spray, but that’s the only post-treatment maintenance required.

Is balloon sinuplasty covered by insurance?
Almost all health insurances will cover balloon sinuplasty. However, Dr. Schubkegel’s team will check with your insurance beforehand to make sure it’s covered. If you’re a candidate for balloon sinuplasty, Dr. Schubkegel will communicate your condition to your insurance company and explain why the procedure needs to be done.

Who are the ideal candidates for balloon sinuplasty?
The ideal candidates for balloon sinuplasty are patients with chronic symptoms (occurring for more than 12 weeks), including persistent sinus congestion, stuffiness, facial pressure, or headaches. Some patients also have drainage issues, including a stuffy or runny nose. Patients with recurrent acute issues, meaning they get sinus infections over and over again (four or more per year), can also be good candidates for the procedure.

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