"Balloon Sinuplasty is similar to a cardiac cath, only it
opens up your sinuses instead of your arteries," said Dr.
Jack Coleman, an ear, nose and throat physician at StoneCrest and
the only physician in Middle Tennessee trained to perform Balloon
Sinuplasty. Coleman is one of 40 physicians in the U.S. trained
to perform the procedure. Balloon Sinuplasty was cleared by the
FDA in April of 2005.
Because it is a relatively new technology, Balloon Sinuplasty
has only been performed on 145 patients since its introduction
last year. The procedure uses a small, flexible, sinus balloon
catheter to open up blocked sinus passageways, with the intent
of restoring normal sinus drainage and function to the patient.
When the sinus balloon is inflated, it gently restructures and
widens the walls of the sinus passageway while still maintaining
the integrity of the sinus lining.
"This minimally-invasive procedure offers better long-term
results than conventional sinus surgery because it preserves the
mucosa, the layer of tissue covering the sinuses," said Coleman. "Unlike
conventional sinus surgery, it doesn't involve removing bone, packing
the sinuses and scarring."
Recovery time for patients going through Balloon Sinuplasty is
often much shorter than those recovering from sinus surgery. Many
patients who have Balloon Sinuplasty return to normal activity
within 24 hours of surgery compared to about one week for those
who undergo conventional sinus surgery.
Direct healthcare expenditures due to sinusitis cost are over
$6 billion every year and well over 73 million restricted activity
days are due to sinusitis and its symptoms. With sinusitis affecting
around 37 million people in the United States annually, new treatment
options can help provide renewed hope to many.