Sinus Surgery & Balloon Sinuplasty

Both Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS) and Balloon Sinuplasty are effective treatments for chronic sinusitis that can alleviate various sinus issues. The main difference between the two is that FESS requires the cutting and removal of tissue and bone, while Balloon Sinuplasty uses a small, flexible catheter with a sinus balloon to open up blocked sinus passages, thus restoring normal sinus drainage.

Endoscopic Sinus Surgery and Relief from Sinus Pain

Improper drainage of your sinus cavity, typically brought about by infection, can lead to near-constant pain. Chronic sinusitis is the underlying infection that negatively impacts your sinus cavities. It causes the cavity to drain improperly and in the process triggers the development of extremely uncomfortable pain symptoms. The level of pain can be debilitating for many patients, and oftentimes, the methods available through regular therapy or over-the-counter products are ineffective in delivering real relief.

When it comes to providing real pain relief, no matter how ineffective other measures have been at reducing the impact of your painful sinusitis symptoms, you can count on our providers for surgical procedures demonstrated to be extremely effective in undoing the debilitating damage to your quality of life brought about by sinus pain.

Functional endoscopic sinus surgery video

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Balloon Sinuplasty

Balloon Sinuplasty is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to treat chronic sinusitis and related sinus issues. It’s an alternative to traditional sinus surgery.

The procedure is performed under local or general anesthesia, and patients typically experience less discomfort and a quicker recovery compared to traditional sinus surgery. It can be done in a doctor’s office or an outpatient surgical center.

During a balloon sinuplasty, a thin, flexible catheter with a small balloon at its tip is inserted into the affected sinus cavity. The balloon is then inflated, which gently widens and restructures the sinus opening. This process helps to improve drainage and ventilation in the sinuses, reducing the symptoms associated with chronic sinusitis.

Balloon Sinuplasty Overview Video

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Sinus Symptoms

When sinus pain makes your breathing more difficult, it is usually because your sinus cavities are not functioning properly. Adjacent to your eyes and nose, the sinuses are four pairs of cavities located in your bones that assist with fluid drainage. When they become infected, if not properly treated then more severe infections can cause significant problems to occur, including even asthma. Symptoms of sinusitis occur when infection negatively alters your natural respiratory processes.

These symptoms can include:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Cough
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Headaches
  • A sensation of pressure in your face

Technical Advances

Up until recently, the infected areas deep in the sinus were left largely untouched by surgery, and while the large sinus cavities could be drained, attempts at providing genuine, lasting chronic sinusitis relief through surgery were impossible due to the lack of effective surgical tools. Michigan ENT and Allergy Specialists utilize an endoscope, a cutting-edge surgical device that has the precision and flexibility necessary to address infected areas deep inside your sinus, allowing us to gain access to these previously difficult-to-reach regions so we can identify and treat diseased tissue in the sinus, as well as associated blockages. We use the endoscope to repair your sinus for proper fluid drainage and to restore normal nasal ventilation.

Surgery has the capacity to improve the following symptoms for patients:

  • Persistent allergies
  • Nasal obstruction
  • Polyps
  • Facial pain
  • Chronic nasal discharge
  • Chronic hoarseness
  • Bad nasal odors
  • Chronic sinus infection
  • A persistent cough and cold

Patients enjoy the benefits of a quicker recovery due to better airflow, in addition to:

  • Decreased removal of healthy nasal tissue
  • Decreased bleeding, resulting in fewer complications
  • The ability to perform sinus surgery on an outpatient basis

Examination and Recommendation

A proper evaluation and examination is the first step to take before we can offer a recommendation. We may recommend X-rays or a CT scan. Should a nasal procedure be required, then there will be a full discussion about the right direction for your individual symptoms

Procedure Options

Endoscopic sinus surgery and balloon sinuplasty are normally performed on an outpatient basis, and it begins with the application of a general anesthetic. Detailed instructions about recovering from your procedure will be provided after your operation. It will outline the steps you may need to take to facilitate your recovery. After your surgery is completed, there can be some discomfort in your nasal passages and possibly some bleeding as well. For the initial 24 to 48 hours following your procedure, it is possible that there may be some additional mucus and blood drainage, and we recommend taking Tylenol to relieve any symptoms of discomfort. If your pain is pronounced, however, stronger pain relief can be provided, and any nasal congestion that occurs can be minimized with warm showers. Although uncommon, post-operative swelling of the eyes over the ensuing 24 to 48 hours can occur, whereas swelling inside of your nasal cavities is more commonplace, and this can cause congestion for a few days. In some patients, a minor fever associated with post-surgical symptoms can crop up, which is another reason why Tylenol is recommended by Michigan Sinus and Allergy.

Children with Chronic Sinus Problems

While they are less noticeable in children, sinus infection symptoms can occur, and these symptoms may range from post-nasal drip to a nighttime cough, fatigue, tenderness in the nasal area, and headaches. If these symptoms persist for your child, they may require a sinus window, which is a procedure called an antrostomy that creates a small opening that facilitates nasal fluid drainage for the patient.


Physicians regularly treat children with sinus infections, and while most symptoms are physical or visual, occasionally there are more sensitive and subtle symptoms in children, indicating that improper sinus drainage is occurring.

Once your child has had an X-ray performed, a more accurate diagnosis can be made, but some of the symptoms are similar to those for sinusitis, including:

  • Breathing issues
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Consistent cough
  • Bad breath
  • Headaches
  • Facial pressure

Michigan ENT and Allergy Specialists may suggest a thorough drainage of the sinus cavity to help remove any excess fluid and mucus. With additional airflow in the sinus, this process can help the infection clear. We will create a small opening in the bone, separating the nose and sinus of the affected sinus cavities, effectively creating an opening called the sinus window, which is created inside of the nose so as to prevent the formation of scar tissue outside of your nose. Following fluid drainage, the sinus window may remain for anywhere from four months to one year or longer depending on your specific circumstances.

The Surgical Procedure

After an initial examination, we will be able to make his recommendation in terms of surgical procedures. If we recommend that a sinus window is applied, you will be provided with all of the relevant details of the surgery, in addition to information on how to properly treat your child after his or her operation, and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have at that point.

The procedure, known as an antrostomy, is generally an outpatient procedure with anesthetic applications. There can be the sensation that your child’s sinuses are congested following the operation, and we will apply gauze pads and tape underneath the child’s nose to accommodate for any blood drip. Nose drops are often recommended for your child after the surgery to reduce any swelling. Swelling of the eyes is also a side effect.

Be sure to have your child drink lots of fluids following your procedure, which reduces excessive nasal secretions. Tylenol can be given to your child to prevent fever and discomfort from developing, and it is possible for there to be some additional bleeding over the ensuing 24 to 48 hours, which may require additional gauze pads. You can expect a certain amount of mucus and blood drainage during the two weeks after this procedure. If there is an excessive amount of this drainage, then please call our office immediately. For the first 10 days following the procedure, your child will be advised to avoid any activities that are excessively strenuous. By the third day, your child can begin to resume a certain amount of moderate physical activity. We recommend that your child avoids blowing their nose or sneezing through the nose for at least the next two weeks and be sure that if sneezes do occur, your child attempts to sneeze as much as possible through their mouth. Your child’s regular school activities can be resumed once your child has recovered from post-operative conditions after four to seven days.

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