Sinus Surgery Q&A

Sinus Surgery Q&A

Looking for information about chronic sinusitis, Balloon Sinuplasty, or Acclarent products?

sinus surgery

Please be aware that the “Sinus Surgery Q&A” feature focuses on general questions & answers about Balloon Sinuplasty, chronic sinusitis, and/or Acclarent products. Acclarent does not advise, evaluate, or respond to an individual’s specific health history. "Sinus Surgery Q&A" is not a substitute for the advice and care your own doctor, who knows your medical problems, can provide. Product complaints or concerns about a past procedure should be directed to Customer Service.


Q. I have had two surgeries on my sinuses and still suffer with pain and pressure in my sinuses. There are no days when I don't have pain at some level. It really interferes with my daily life. Since I have had two surgeries, would Balloon Sinuplasty do me any good?
A. Whether Balloon Sinuplasty can help with your sinus symptoms and facial pain depends on the diagnosis and the type of sinus problem you have. See a physician skilled in Balloon Sinuplasty to determine if you are a candidate.

Q. I have constant congestion in one side of my nose, which is worse when I lie down. I have been using a CPAP to breathe at night. It also helps to use nasal spray. Is it possible that if my nose "opened" up, I could breathe better and do away with my CPAP at night?
A. Balloon Sinuplasty is an excellent and safe technology to help with the symptoms of chronic sinusitis. Some nasal breathing problems can be worsened by sinusitis and improved when the sinusitis is treated. However, many problems of nasal obstruction are not caused by the sinuses but rather are caused by nasal problems like a deviated nasal septum and enlarged nasal turbinates. See an Ear, Nose and Throat physician to determine the cause and the best treatment.

Q. My doctor has determined I most likely have "non-allergic rhinitis". Is there a chance Balloon Sinuplasty would help me?
A. Sinus surgery, and specifically Balloon Sinuplasty, is effective for sinusitis symptoms. Some allergic and non-allergic nasal problems are worsened by sinusitis and more easily managed when the sinuses are healthy. You should see an ENT physician with expertise in Balloon Sinuplasty for an opinion as to whether your problems will be helped.

Q. I have bags under eyes. Could this be from sinuses? I do have sinus problems (pain behind eyes periodically, mucous draining down throat causing coughing, drainage after eating something spicy). I’m trying to determine if I need some type of sinus related procedure.
A. Sinus disease does not typically have eyelid swelling (“bags under the eyes”) as a major or minor symptom. You should visit a surgeon knowledgeable about Balloon Sinuplasty to undergo a complete evaluation and determine whether you have sinusitis and whether you are a candidate for Balloon Sinuplasty.

Q. My sinuses look healthy on a CT scan but I still have sinus pain and congestion and feel terrible. I am about one year into allergy shots. I also had my maxillary sinuses opened and turbinate reduction. Could my problem be helped by Balloon Sinuplasty or is it just swollen and inflamed?
A. There are many reasons for sinus and nasal congestion and pain. These can relate directly to the sinuses, or be caused by nasal congestion from swelling of the turbinates. Turbinate swelling has many causes such as from allergies. Also, facial pain and congestion can be due to non-sinus problems. Balloon Sinuplasty is a safe and effective method to open obstructed sinuses. You should seek a physician skilled in the use of Balloon Sinuplasty to determine if you are a candidate.

Q. I am a candidate for Balloon Sinuplasty based on recurrent sinus infections of the maxillary sinuses. After an initial evaluation, the ENT surgeon indicated that she would be unable to access my left maxillary sinus due to a moderately deviated septum and recommended that I consider a septoplasty procedure to correct the deviation. I was wondering if the Acclarent system is able to navigate around a moderately deviated septum. Thanks.
A. The Acclarent Balloon Sinuplasty technologies can effectively reach and access tight and narrow spaces and is an excellent way to relieve obstructions associated with persistent maxillary sinusitis. There are times when a severely deviated septum will make that access difficult and the septum must be corrected. Your physician has the best ability to determine if a septoplasty is needed and can base this on a combination of your medical history, your examination, and your computed tomographic (CT) scans. There is also a possible solution for Nasal Obstruction relief with the RELIEVA TRACT™ Nasal Dilation System. Ask your surgeon if that option is right for you. 

Q. I am scheduled to have Balloon Sinuplasty on Friday, under local anesthesia. I am concerned about "being awake". Should I be?
A. Balloon Sinuplasty can be safely and comfortably performed under local anesthesia. Each individual has different sinus problems that need treatment and different pain tolerances. You should discuss your particular needs and problems with your surgeon to determine if you are a good candidate for local anesthesia.

Q. Once you've had Balloon Sinuplasty surgery, will you be able to stop using nasal sprays?
A. There are several different nasal sprays that physicians might use. Some are used for inflammation and allergies and others for infection. The ability to stop nasal sprays will depend on the cause of the sinusitis. You should check with your physician and understand the reasons why you are taking your spray and the chances for continued use after Balloon Sinuplasty surgery.

Q. Based on my CT scan, my ENT said he has to go with using a scope and carve bone and tissue as opposed to Balloon Sinuplasty. Should Balloon Sinuplasty always be tried first before using a scope and carving bone and tissue?
A. Balloon Sinuplasty is an excellent and safe method of dilating obstructions associated with many types of sinus disease. There are many different causes of sinus disease and your specific type may not lend itself to Balloon Sinuplasty. If you wish to explore if you are a candidate for Balloon Sinuplasty, you should seek an opinion from a surgeon who is skilled in Balloon Sinuplasty and performs Balloon Sinuplasty frequently. Note that traditional sinus surgery and Balloon Sinuplasty both employ the use of an endoscope, which is a small camera inserted into the nasal cavity to assist the surgeon in seeing inside your nose.

Q. I have had sinus infections and pressure for years. Within the past four years it has gotten really bad. I feel like I can’t breathe, which makes my chest feel heavy. I take decongestants very often, and I am now dealing with snoring. I have gone to my ENT and he has advised me that I am a candidate for Balloon Sinuplasty. Will this help with my snoring?
A. Balloon Sinuplasty is a proven and safe technology to relieve the obstructions associated with chronic sinusitis. There are numerous causes for snoring, among which can be nasal obstruction. You need to discuss with your physician the causes of your snoring and whether nasal surgery is anticipated to help this. Balloon Sinuplasty can address sinus disease, but would not be expected to affect snoring.

Q. Is Balloon Sinuplasty recommended or approved in children? If yes, what age range? My 4 year old has had chronic sinusitis since her birth at 25 weeks gestation, despite aggressive antibiotic treatment, allergy injections, and nasal sprays.
A. Acclarent Balloon Sinuplasty technology has been successfully and safely used by doctors in pediatric patients. Peer reviewed studies detailing the successes have appeared in the medical literature. Balloon Sinuplasty permits opening of the sinus flow with minimal tissue trauma. Acclarent Balloon Sinuplasty is indicated for the dilation of pediatric maxillary sinuses. You should discuss Balloon Sinuplasty with your child’s physicians (Pediatric Ear, Nose and Throat and Primary Care Physician) to obtain a full understanding of risks and benefits to determine whether this procedure is right for your child. Prematurity may result in other health conditions that need to be carefully weighed in assessing the suitability of Balloon Sinuplasty for your son or daughter.


Q. I had Balloon Sinuplasty seven days ago. How long does it take for nasal soreness and pain to diminish? I am continuing the sinus irrigation as recommended by my ENT. Afterwards is when I feel the most pain and soreness.
A. The discomfort experienced after Balloon Sinus surgery will vary depending upon which sinuses were operated upon and whether any additional nasal and sinus procedures were needed in addition to the Balloon Sinuplasty to manage the sinus disease. You should check with your physician to see if the amount of discomfort you're having is an anticipated part of your recovery period.

Q. If I have Balloon Sinuplasy, how long will the results last, or how often will I need to have this procedure done?
A. The durability of Balloon Sinuplasty Surgery and the chance of revision may be dependent upon the kind of sinus problem that is being managed. Some sinus problems have a chance to recur no matter what type of treatment is performed. You need to discuss with your surgeon the type of problem you have and the kind of surgery being performed to determine the results and how long it might last.

Q. I had Balloon Sinuplasty and am enduring some swelling of the right cheek. Is this normal?
A. Facial swelling after Balloon Sinuplasty is usual. Swelling of the cheek has many causes some of which are not related to the sinuses. You should check with your physician who performed the surgery to find out if the swelling was expected, related to the surgery, from another cause or even of any concern.

Q. After the Sinuplasty is done, you usually have a post op about a week later. What will the post op consist of? Also, I have heard that it is normal to have a lot of drainage and blood after the procedure. How long will that last?
A. There are several different sinuses that might need to be managed as part of the Balloon Sinuplasty procedure. Also, there might be the need to do other procedures in the nose and sinuses in addition to Balloon Sinuplasty. You should check with your physician to find out how much blood or mucus drainage is expected and what to expect at your follow up office visits.

Q. I am getting Balloon Sinuplasty in a couple of weeks. What makes the sinuses stay open once they remove the balloon?
A. When inflated, the balloon micro-fractures the bone, which is then expected to heal in the newly displaced position and not "rebound". Clinical results suggest the dilation is durable.

Q. I am having Balloon Sinuplasty and my doctor has prescribed oral steroids. Do you believe that it is necessary to take this before and days after the procedure? And is this the norm or more of a precautionary measure?
A. The use and need of oral steroids will depend on the sinus problem being treated. It is not specific to Balloon Sinuplasty. You should discuss the reasons and need for the steroids with your surgeon.

Q. Does Balloon Sinuplasty change the appearance of your nose? What are the risks?
A. Balloon Sinuplasty is used to dilate the sinus openings. There are no reported cases of Balloon Sinuplasty altering the shape or appearance of the nose.

Q. Hello, Your FAQ section states that results last two years. In two years, do you need another Balloon Sinuplasty? Will headaches return? Thank you!
A. It is not that results of Balloon Sinuplasty last only two years, but rather there is now published scientific data following patients for two years. There is no clear clinical data or parameters for how long to follow and watch over any patient with sinus disease with any type of treatment. While certain types of sinus problems will resolve permanently with medical or surgical treatment, others are chronic and might cause lifelong problems. You should discuss your particular sinus problems with your ear, nose and throat physician to determine how long you could expect relief from symptoms, including headaches.

Q. I had Balloon Sinuplasty done yesterday. No pain in office and just a small headache afterwards that went away after about four hours. Feeling fine today, but am very congested feeling. No major discharge, just congested where I cannot breathe well through my nose. Is this normal? How long does it typically last?
A. Nasal congestion is a common occurrence after any nasal or sinus procedure. The length of time of the congestion will depend upon the type of surgery performed and findings at the time of surgery. You need to confer with your surgeon who will understand the details of your surgery and your anticipated post-operative course.


Q. Can Balloon Sinuplasty be performed if there's a current infection? I am going to see my doctor again but was wondering if there's any way to tell for sure if I have a bacterial infection? Also, is there any way a doctor could drain the sinuses in office to avoid antibiotics?
A. Balloon Sinuplasty can be performed while there is an infection although many physicians will prefer to get an infection under control prior to any sinus procedure. A physician can obtain a culture from the nose to determine if the infection is viral, bacterial or fungal. Balloon Sinuplasty can open the sinuses permitting them to be irrigated. Depending on the cause of the infections, this may or may not prevent the need for more antibiotics. You should discuss all your concerns with a physician skilled in Balloon Sinuplasty.

Q. I had previous correction of a deviated septum several years ago. Within the last year, I can barely breathe again out of my left nostril and both of my eyes burn horribly. I have been treating myself for dry eye with no luck. Could chronic sinusitis cause my breathing issues and my eyes to burn?
A. Sinus problems can manifest themselves with nasal obstruction and facial pain over the sinus areas like the forehead. There are other possible causes for your symptoms, some of which include a recurrence of the deviated septum, allergies, and headaches of non-nasal and sinus causes. I would recommend you see an otolaryngologist who can obtain a complete history, perform a nasal examination that may include a nasal endoscopic examination, and obtain a computed tomographic (CT) scan of the sinuses. This type of evaluation will permit an accurate diagnosis and lead to the correct treatment.


No applicable peer-reviewed references for this page. 


Important Safety Information

Acclarent® Balloon Sinuplasty Devices are intended for use by or under the direction of a physician. Acclarent Technology has associated risks, including unintended tissue injury, infection, or possible visual injury. Consult your physician for a full discussion of risks and benefits to determine whether this procedure is right for you. The success of this procedure depends on many factors, including your physical condition and your body’s ability to tolerate the procedure. Use care in the selection of your doctors and hospital, based on their skill and experience. 

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© Acclarent, Inc. 2019. Last Updated on 10/11/2019