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New Balloon Sinuplasty Cures Sinusitis by Enlarging the Sinuses – Some Dangers But Procedure is Done in United States Now

April 7th 2006

New Balloon Sinuplasty Cures Sinusitis by Enlarging the Sinuses – Some Dangers But Procedure is Done in United States Now


Simple outpatient surgery may help improve symptoms of sinusitis in people with abnormal bone growth in the sinus cavity.  The treatment has only been available in the US since December, but it appears to work.  After the surgery the patients’ sinus openings become significantly wider, allowing sufferers to breathe normally through their noses.

The procedure, called balloon sinuplasty, requires general anesthesia. The doctors thread a guide wire catheter equipped with a tiny balloon into the nostrils and up to the blockage.  They then inflate the balloon about a quarter inch.  This is just enough to open the passageway.  The balloon is then deflated and withdrawn.

Ear nose and throat (ENT) surgeons are being trained in the procedure. reports that the procedure does have some risks.  According to Dr. Christopher Brown, a principal researcher at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne Australia, “Because the brain is in close proximity to the sinuses, there is potentially a risk of injury.  The frontal sinus in particular can be challenging to many ENT surgeons and so any new developments are always welcomed.” 


The bones of the sinus are very soft, according to a report on ABC World News Tonight.  Dr. Peter Catalano of the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Massachusetts said “The bones in the sinus drain are very soft, thin bones. Extremely malleable and therefore there is no pain." 

The sinus openings stay open because the balloon actually fractures the bones and spreads them apart. Dr. Howard Levine of the Cleveland Nasal/Sinus Center told ABC News correspondent John McKenzie, “It allows for no incisions or cutting. There's no bruising or swelling."

One of the patients Levine interviewed told him that she had suffered from sinusitis most of her life. After the procedure, Michele Lynch was at work the next day. "This procedure made a huge difference in my life," she said. "Since the procedure I can't say I've even had a headache, and breathing is so clear."


Sinusitis is very common, according to Newsdial, and 37 million Americans are affected by sinusitis every year.  There are 33 million chronic sinusitis cases reported to the CDC every year.   

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By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication

Ear Nose and Throat Books

Keywords and misspellings: eer noas throte

Important:  The material on Best Syndication is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. You should promptly seek professional medical care if you have any concern about your health, and you should always consult your physician before starting a fitness program.

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                   Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:50 PM