Sinus & Balloon Sinuplasty


Sinuses are hollow air filled spaces in the skull, found between the eyes (ethmoid sinuses), below the eyes (maxillary sinuses), the forehead (frontal sinuses) and middle of the head (sphenoid sinuses). Normally, mucus collecting in the sinuses drains into the nasal passages. Acute bacterial sinusitis is an infection of the sinus cavities caused by bacteria. It is usually preceded by a cold, allergy attack, or irritation by environmental pollutants. When you have a cold or allergy attack, your sinuses become inflamed and are unable to drain. This can lead to congestion and infection. Acute sinusitis can be diagnosed if you have purulent nasal drainage accompanied by nasal obstruction and facial pain for ten days to four weeks, or if the symptoms worsen after an initial improvement. Chronic sinusitis can be diagnosed if the symptoms last more than 12 weeks. Treatment for sinusitis includes an antibiotic with a steroid or nasal steroid spray.

Sinuses are not fully developed until you are 20 years old. However, children can also suffer from sinusitis. Sinusitis in children may have the symptoms of a cold lasting more than 10 to 14 days, thick yellow-green nasal drainage, low fever, low energy, post nasal drip, sore throat, cough, bad breath, irritability and swelling around the eyes.

Functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) or Balloon Sinuplasty should be considered if medical treatment fails or if there is nasal obstruction that cannot be corrected with medications. With the endoscope, the surgeon can look directly into the nose, while at the same time, removing diseased tissue and polyps and enlarging the sinus passages to restore normal sinus drainage. FESS does not require any incision, as the whole procedure is performed through the nostrils. FESS is usually performed in the operating room under either local or general anesthesia.


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Balloon Sinuplasty

Balloon Sinuplasty is a minimally invasive procedure in select patients that is performed in the office under local anesthesia for adults. It is a breakthrough procedure that can relieve the pain and pressure associated with sinusitis patients who are not responding well to medical treatment. A soft flexible balloon catheter is inserted through the nostrils into the inflamed sinus, and the balloon is then gradually inflated to enlarge the opening of the sinus, providing drainage to the inflamed sinus. The advantages of Balloon Sinuplasty over FESS is that it can also be used in children, it enlarges the opening of the sinuses without any cutting or removal of bone or soft tissue so there is less damage to the tissue, it is less invasive with less bleeding, there is a faster recovery period with patients usually going back to work after 24 to 48 hours, and it does not limit future sinus treatment options. Woodlands ENT has chosen to use the Medtronic IGS navigation system for Balloon Sinus Dilation. This system provides GPS navigation allowing physicians to navigate each patient’s unique anatomy. Find out more about Medtronic’s technology at


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