In the case of chronic sinus infections, you might find that non-invasive treatments do not work as effectively as hoped. The next step that your ear, nose and throat specialist may recommend is surgery. Balloon sinus surgery is a frequent choice as it offers one of the safest and most effective ways of opening the sinuses. Here is what happens if your ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist recommends balloon sinus surgery. The following information can help you decide whether or not you are informed and comfortable with your chosen course of treatment.

Anesthetics for numbing and pain reduction

In the case of balloon sinus surgery, a local anesthetic is often preferred over general anesthetic. This means that you will not be unconscious, but your nose will be numbed so you don’t feel pain or discomfort during your procedure. This is done using cotton swabs soaked with numbing medication that are inserted in the nose. As a result, you should feel no pain during the rest of the procedure, though you will still feel pressure in the surrounding areas that have not been numbed.

The catheter is inserted

As the name suggests, this surgery involves the use of a balloon. It’s first inserted in the form of a miniscule catheter directly into the nostril. During this step, it’s important to remember to breathe through your mouth. Your ear, nose and throat specialist will push it as far into the nose as possible so it can reach the sinus. Due to the anesthetic, you won’t feel any pain or discomfort.

The balloon is inflated

If the ear, nose and throat specialist is satisfied that the balloon catheter has been correctly inserted, then this is the part when they will inflate it to open and widen the inflamed sinus. This is done to help the walls of the sinus expand, which helps to reshape them. Though you should not feel any severe pain due to the anesthetic, you will feel a significant amount of pressure which might cause some discomfort.

The balloon is removed

With the balloon fully inflated for some time, it’s not time for the ear, nose and throat specialist to deflate it and remove it from the nose. Following this step, your sinuses should immediately feel a lot more open and they will start to drain normally. Your breathing should also show immediate improvement. In some cases, however, repeated procedures are needed to help the results last for longer.

The recovery process

Most people are able to return to their regular lifestyle only a day or two after the surgery. For up to a week following the procedure, you may notice bloody discharge or drainage from the nose or some fatigue or congestion. These are all normal and should clear up from five to seven days after. Simply follow the instructions from the ear, nose and throat specialist, which may include avoiding blowing your nose for 24 hours and avoiding strenuous activity for a week.

If you have any other questions or queries about balloon sinus surgery, do not hesitate to get in touch with your ear, nose and throat specialist. They can help address any thoughts in much more detail to ensure that you’re satisfied that this surgery is the best option for you.