By Kristin Beerman | email
Edited by Jon Bush | email
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – More than 37-million people suffer from sinus related problems every year. If you're one of those looking for relief, you may be interested in a new procedure called Balloon Sinuplasty.
Unlike traditional surgery, there's no cutting involved. The doctor visualizes the area with a lighted scope. Then, a very fine, lighted wire, threaded through a special balloon, is inserted. When inflated, it works like angioplasty to open blocked heart arteries, but this balloon opens narrowed drainage channels in the sinuses.
"This just goes in and it actually, what it does, it fractures when you blow up, it fractures some of the bone, so enlarges the opening so you take a little, teeny opening that's not working, you make it bigger, but not too big, so it's actually more natural and it doesn't bleed as much, heals faster and you can get into some of the inaccessible sinuses."
The balloon can only open to a certain size inflated by a calibrated machine. Green and white markings show the doctor how far to insert the balloon. Since there is no cutting, there is a reduced risk of scarring and the recovery is faster than after traditional sinus surgery. If you'd like to know more, ask an ear, nose and throat specialist about Balloon Sinuplasty.
©2009 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.