There's a new treatment option for people who suffer from chronic sinus infections called balloon sinus-plasty. It's similar to angioplasty where a balloon opens clogged arteries, but in this case, the balloon opens up the sinuses to help patients breathe easier.
The procedure is FDA approved and even covered by some insurance. Here's how it works...a catheter guides the balloon up to the opening of the sinus. Then the balloon is inflated, pushing tissue out of the way and expanding the opening and that allows the sinus to drain. Unlike traditional sinus surgery, in which tissue is removed, there's no cutting with this procedure.
"Hopefully there won't be any scarring involved, less bleeding, and less post-operative recovery time," said Dr. Suzette Mikula, an Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon.
Balloon sinus-plasty is not the first thing you try. It's for people with chronic sinus problems who've tried everything and nothing works. It doesn't mean you will never get a sinus infection just that you will drain better if you do. And one concern is that since it is so new, no one knows yet just how long it will be effective.
But Nancy Choudhry a sinus patient says so far, she's very pleased. "What really makes you feel better, is not having a sinus, a dull headache all the time, and I'm hoping that will stay away," says Nancy.
An added bonus, she says for the first time in years, she can smell again. If you'd like to know more, ask your ear nose and throat doctor about balloon sinus-plasty.