Traditional Surgery vs. Balloon Sinuplasty

Traditional Surgery vs. Balloon Sinuplasty

One of the most common conditions of the modern age is sinusitis. Dust allergy, recurring cold and cough or any environmental infection can cause inflammation of the nasal tissues and this is called sinusitis. In the U.S. alone, 37 million patients suffer from sinusitis. It is no small wonder people go crazy searching about the various treatments. Chronic patients of sinusitis have no option left apart from surgery. There are two types of surgeries. The first is traditional sinus surgery, and the more modern method is called balloon sinuplasty.

In traditional surgery, the sinus is opened through an incision made in the mouth or the skin and the tissue or bone that is blocking the sinus. The obstruction is removed through this incision.

There are three common types of traditional sinus surgeries. Maxillary antrostomy removes the blockage in the sinus at the back of the cheekbones. Ethmoidectomy removes blockage in the sinus between the eyes and the bridge of the nose. Finally, powered sinuplasty with turbiniplasty helps remove blockage caused by a twisted nasal septum and enlarged nasal turbinates. The septum is the dividing line of cartilage between the nostrils. The turbinates are small structures within the nasal cavity that humidify and cleanse air as it passes through the nostrils into the lungs

Balloon Sinuplasty
Balloon sinuplasty is an endoscopic surgery done to relieve the patient of blocked sinus. In this surgery, the nasal tissues are broadened with the help of a catheter and a tiny balloon is inserted which extracts the mucus and enables free drainage.

Safety and Effectiveness
Traditional surgery is a safe and effective surgical procedure of relieving the patients of chronic sinusitis who develop serious complications. Balloon sinuplasty is a new and modern procedure. It is also considered safe and very effective. Studies conducted in varied institutions on 1036 patients confirm that 95 percent of patients showed improvement within six months after the procedure.

Difference in Incision Procedure
Traditional surgery naturally is done by making a cut in the skin or the mouth to reach the sinus. There is no incision in balloon sinuplasty as the ears-nose-and throat (ENT) specialists simply widen the nasal tissues to insert a tiny soft balloon. The balloon is inflated to drain mucus out.

Difference in Amount of Bleeding
Traditional surgery is invasive and can produce heavy bleeding. Balloon sinuplasty surgery only widens the nasal tissues thereby reducing the occurrence of heavy bleeding.

Recovery Time
Every person has different strengths and weaknesses so if on one hand balloon sinuplasty enables recovery generally within 24 to 48 hours, traditional surgery would require more time. Doctors suggest that patients need at least seven days to undergo traditional surgery and recover from it.

Both traditional surgery and balloon sinuplasty have their own way to treat chronic sinusitis. Balloon sinuplasty may allow a patient to sustain cleared sinuses from six months to three years, while traditional surgery reduces the chances of the recurrence of sinusitis. However, the new improved method of balloon sinuplasty is far less invasive and can make life easier for sinusitis patients and they can live an unstressed wholesome life.

By Archana Dass

Hopkins Medicine
ENT Today