Balloon Sinuplasty (Balloon Sinus Surgery)
Introduction to Balloon Sinuplasty
One out of every six people suffer from sinus infections. The sinus passages can become obstructed by viral infections, allergies or irritation from dust and smoke. When the sinuses are unable to drain they can be infected with bacteria causing pain and severe congestion. The frontal sinus has a very narrow opening that is especially susceptible to infection.
Balloon Sinus Surgery
Balloon sinus surgery is relatively new technique to open an obstructed frontal sinus, sphenoid sinus, or maxillary sinus. A thin and flexible wire is placed into the sinus. Then, a balloon is threaded over the wire into the opening of the infected sinus. The balloon has a light or three-dimensional image-guidance probe at the end to insure proper placement. The balloon is then slowly inflated to gently open the obstructed sinus. The lining and function of the sinus is maintained. Studies indicate that balloon sinus surgery is a safe and effective tool for dilating a blocked sinus.
Is this considered cosmetic surgery?
No. Healthy sinuses and the ability to breathe through the nose are recognized as important to your well-being and health by insurance companies. Insurance will generally cover the functional cost of the surgery. There are some insurance companies that still consider balloon sinuplasty to be “investigational” which really means that they don’t want to pay for the procedure. Make sure that your doctor’s office pre-approves the procedure with your insurance company first to avoid surprises.
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