Botsford Hospital
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Farmington Hills, MI 48336-5919
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winter 2013

Botsford HealthSource Magazine


New Procedure Provides Lasting Relief for Sinus Problems

Are you plagued by a stuffy nose that lingers or comes back again and again? If so, it could be chronic sinusitis, an infection or inflammation of the sinuses. More than 37 million Americans suffer from chronic sinusitis, making it one of the most common health problems in the U.S.

Sinus infections often occur following a cold, and they can be viral or bacterial. Viral infections typically go away on their own within a few weeks. If symptoms last longer, the problem could be a bacterial infection, which requires antibiotics.

A new, minimally invasive procedure called balloon sinuplasty can help chronic sinusitis sufferers breathe easier. Unlike traditional sinus surgery, balloon sinuplasty doesn't require any incisions. A thin, flexible tube with a small balloon on the end is inserted through the nose into the blocked sinus. The balloon is then inflated, which expands the sinus area and widens the opening.

Research has found balloon sinuplasty to be safe and effective in relieving sinusitis symptoms. It is an outpatient procedure performed under general anesthesia. Patients face a lower risk of developing scar tissue that could reblock the sinus -- a concern with conventional surgery. Many patients can return to their normal activities the next day, as compared with weeks later with traditional surgery, ask your doctor if you might benefit from balloon sinuplasty.

STEP 1: A balloon catheter is inserted into the inflamed sinus.

STEP 2: The balloon is inflated to expand the sinus opening.

STEP 3: Saline is sprayed into the inflamed sinus to flush out the pus and mucus.

STEP 4: The system is removed, leaving the sinuses open.