Monday, January 25, 2010

Balloon Sinuplasty

A reader e-mailed me the following comment:

"any thoughts on balloon sinuplasty? effective? covered by healthcare typically?"

This is a procedure indicated for sinusitis patients who have recirculation of mucus in the maxillary sinuses becaues of blocked ostia. I'm not much of an expert on balloon sinuplasty so I'd refer the reader to the following site: I recall my brother-in-law, who is a family doctor, sharing information with me on this procedure a while back. Here's how I understand it: it works like an angioplasty in that a tube is inserted into the ostia and then opened when there (to open the sinuses). My thoughts are that, if balloon sinuplasty is indicated for your particular condition, go for it. It's less invasive and appears safer than an antrostomy with fewer post-surgery complications. If you simply need a little opening of the ostia, and the ostia are not blocked by scar tissue or tissue that needs to be removed, then I would surmise it would be effective. In my case, tissue had to be removed surgically so I was not a candidate for ballon sinuplasty. This has fixed recirculation for me and lessened my risk of sinusitis in the right maxillary sinus, in particular. Of course, like with an antrostomy, I surmise you do need to be sure to keep inflammation at a minimum post-surgery, so the ostia do not become blocked again. As to whether it is covered by insurance, I am really not sure. You'd have to check that out with your insurance company. Good luck!