• 3800 Reservoir Road | 1st Floor Gorman | Washington, DC 20007
  • 6862 Elm St | Suite 800B | McLean, VA 22101
  • (202) 444-0757

Balloon Sinuplasty

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3800 Reservoir Rd, 1st Floor Gorman
Washington, DC 20007

6862 Elm St, Suite 800B
McLean, VA 22101

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    Balloon Sinuplasty (BSP) is a safe and effective sinus procedure(1,2) for chronic sinusitis patients seeking relief from uncomfortable sinus pain symptoms. Balloon Sinuplasty (BSP) uses a small, flexible, balloon catheter to open up blocked sinus passageways and facilitate drainage of the mucous that builds up in patients suffering from chronic sinusitis symptoms. When the sinus balloon is inflated, it restructures and widens the walls of the sinus passageway while maintaining the integrity of the sinus lining.

    Published clinical data in the leading ENT journals shows that it is safe and effective: patients experienced no device-related adverse events and demonstrated statistically and clinically significant improvement in their sinusitis symptoms. With Balloon Sinuplasty, Dr. Reilly can open the inflamed sinuses in the same way that heart surgeons open up blocked arteries during balloon angioplasty. The procedure is less invasive than traditional sinus surgery, and equally effective at relieving symptoms of chronic sinusitis in most patients. Balloon Sinuplasty allows patients to return to normal activities quickly. Unlike conventional sinus surgery, it does not include removal of bone or tissue from the nose.

    What is a balloon sinuplasty?

    A balloon sinuplasty is a nasal procedure that can be performed to treat blocked sinus passages. Your paranasal sinuses are essentially eight air-filled spaces that surround your nose, four on each side. If the passages to these spaces are narrowed or blocked, you may experience frequent sinus pain, frequent or chronic sinus infections, or congestion.  A CT scan, often called a “CAT scan,” can help determine which of the sinus openings are narrowed or obstructed.  Our cutting-edge navigation system is then used during the procedure to direct the balloon to the inflamed sinus passages.  The balloon is then inflated to dilate the narrow area, much in the same way that heart surgeons open up blocked arteries during a balloon angioplasty.  In contrast to more traditional sinus surgery, balloon sinuplasty can be performed in the clinic under local anesthesia, and the recovery period is typically only 1 or 2 days.

    How is a balloon sinuplasty performed? Will I have scars from this type of nasal procedure?

    With balloon sinuplasty, there is no cutting of the nasal bones, cartilage, or surrounding skin. We will insert a small, flexible catheter into your nasal passages and inflate a balloon device, which will quickly open any narrowed passages or blockages in your sinuses. When the balloon is inflated, it restructures and widens the walls of the sinus passageway while maintaining the integrity of the sinus lining. We use the TruDi system, which is the first three-dimensional navigation system used in sinus surgery. This procedure has absolutely no effect on your outward appearance. The vast majority of patient quickly feel a sense of relief and ease of breathing after it is performed.

    When can I expect to get back to work?

    If you undergo an in-clinic balloon sinuplasty procedure, performed under local anesthetic, you can expect to return to work or school in one or two days. The benefit of this minimally-invasive procedure is that the recovery period is also minimal. You should also expect to feel the results more quickly and breathe more easily sooner than more invasive traditional sinus surgical procedures.

    How much does a balloon sinuplasty cost?

    Although the balloon device and technological equipment are expensive, the cost of a balloon sinuplasty is typically covered under your medical insurance benefits. Often, patients see less out-of-pocket costs for procedures performed in the clinic setting than in the operating room. We have a team who will help navigate you through the scheduling process and submission for insurance authorization to help you determine what your out of pocket costs may be.

    Balloon Sinuplasty Pre-operative Considerations

    Can Balloon Sinuplasty be done under local anesthesia?

    • Yes, Dr. Reilly performs Balloon Sinuplasty in the office under local anesthesia, so there is often no need to go to an operating room or undergo general anesthesia.

    What are the benefits of Balloon Sinuplasty In-Office?

    • Local Anesthesia: Balloon Sinuplasty In-Office is an option for patients who decline or are ineligible for general anesthesia.
    • Fast Recovery: While recovery time varies with each patient, most patients who undergo the in-office procedure are able to return to work within 2 days.
    • Comfortable Surroundings: Experience the procedure in the comfort of your physician’s office rather than a hospital operating room.
    • High Patient satisfaction: The majority of patients who had Balloon Sinuplasty In-Office would recommend the procedure to family and friends
    • Potential for Significant Cost Savings: Some eligible patients may have lower out-of-pocket costs if the procedure is performed in a lower cost of care setting, such as a physician’s office.

    How does balloon sinuplasty work?

    Balloon Sinuplasty

    How does balloon sinuplasty work?

    Balloon Sinuplasty
    Balloon Sinuplasty
    Balloon Sinuplasty

    How does the 3D navigation technology help?

    The TruDi system is the first 3D navigation system used in sinus surgery. It is modeled after the most advanced technology used in minimally invasive heart procedures. The system provides flexible instrumentation that allows the surgeon to access complicated anatomy and provides substantial improvement in surgical accuracy, ensuring a faster, more precise, and safer experience for patients.

    How is Balloon Sinuplasty Safe & Less Invasive?

    With Balloon Sinuplasty, there is no cutting of nasal bone or tissue. More than 535,000 patients suffering from chronic sinusitis symptoms have been treated by ear, nose and throat doctors using Balloon Sinuplasty.

    How do patients feel after Balloon Sinuplasty?

    In a study tracking patients 2 years following their Balloon Sinuplasty Sinus Surgery in the OR, most chronic sinusitis patients report clinically meaningful improvement in sinus symptoms and quality of life.

    How long does recovery take after Balloon Sinuplasty?

    While recovery time varies with each patient, recovery is typically fast. In a study of in-office balloon dilation, most patients returned to work and normal activity within 2 days.

    Balloon Sinuplasty Surgical details

    Before your procedure:

    • Wear comfortable clothes the day of your procedure.
    • Arrive 15 minutes prior to your procedure to complete all necessary paperwork and to be briefed by your doctor. Once you have had your questions answered, you may take the mild sedative pill(s) that you brought with you.
    • The first 20-30 minutes of your visit will be spent decongesting and numbing your nasal passages. You can expect to feel numbness in your teeth and throat as a result of the numbing medication. The numbing sensation in your throat can be uncomfortable and it may feel like you can’t swallow; this is normal.
    • The local anesthetic has an unpleasant taste; it is ok to spit it out. Just let your doctor know.
    • The procedure will begin once your doctor has adequately numbed your nose.
    • Dr. Reilly may prescribe a relaxing medication for you if you would like for this procedure. Please fill the Rx and bring the medication with you to the office. Once you have a chance to have all your questions answered by Dr. Reilly that day, he will give you the opportunity to take this medication. It is highly recommended to make you more comfortable during the procedure, but you will need a ride home if you take this medication.

    What to expect during the procedure:

    You will be awake for your procedure
    The lights will likely be turned down at times in the procedure room
    Your doctor and his/her staff will be speaking to you and each other throughout the procedure
    If at any point you are unable to tolerate the procedure, please let your doctor know


    • Your doctor will advance a soft flexible guidewire into the sinus
    • You may feel some sensation in your teeth (in your maxillary/cheek sinus) or forehead (in your frontal sinus) as the wire is advanced into your sinus
    • The guidewire has a small light on the end to help your doctor confirm access to your blocked sinus.
    You may see this light as your doctor extends the guidewire.

    Balloon Sinuplasty

    Step 1. A balloon catheter is inserted into the inflamed sinus.


    • Next, your doctor will advance a small flexible balloon over the wire. Since the opening to your sinus is currently blocked, you may feel some pressure as the balloon advances.
    • Finally your doctor will inflate the balloon to gently expand the opening of the sinus. You may feel some discomfort or pressure during the inflation of the balloon but it will be brief, usually a couple of seconds. You may even hear noises as the balloon inflates.

    Balloon Sinuplasty

    Step 2. The balloon is inflated to expand the sinus opening.


    Your sinus will remain open after the balloon is deflated and removed, allowing the sinus to drain normally.

    Balloon Sinuplasty

    Step 3. Saline is sprayed into the inflamed sinus to flush out the pus and mucous.

    STEP 4

    The balloon apparatus is removed, providing improved ventilation and function.

    Balloon Sinuplasty

    Step 4. The system is removed, leaving the sinuses open.

    Balloon Sinuplasty Post-operative Recovery

    • After your Balloon Sinuplasty procedure, your doctor may prescribe medications such as antibiotics, steroids, or pain medication
    • If your sinuses appear infected the day of the procedure, Dr. Reilly will prescribe you an antibiotic to take for a period of time after the procedure.
    • Most patients are prescribed a taper of steroid pills to start taking the day after your procedure to help with your swelling. This is not mandatory, and some patients choose not to take the steroid pill if they have had trouble with steroid medication in the past.
    • Prescription pain medication is rarely necessary after this procedure. Tylenol (regular or extra strength) are ideal because they do not increase the risk of post-procedure bleeding.
    • You may have mild bleeding after the procedure, which typically resolves in 1-2 days and can be cared for with a gauze bandage under the nose.
    • Most people return to normal activities within two days of the procedure. Ask your doctor when you can return to normal activities.


    • You will need to see Dr. Reilly between 7-14 days after your procedure for another endoscopy (look in the nose with an endoscope) to ensure that you are healing properly and that there is no sign of infection.
    • During your recovery period, please notify your doctor if you have any difficulty breathing, high fever, persistent bleeding, or any other urgent concern.
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