Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center

Programs & Services

Do You Suffer From Sinusitis?

Kingsbrook Offers Balloon Sinuplasty™ Surgery

Sinusitis affects 37 million people each year, making it one of the most common health problems in the U.S. It is more prevalent than heart disease and asthma and has a greater impact on quality of life than chronic back pain or congestive heart failure. Symptoms may significantly affect people physically, functionally, and emotionally.

The Role of the Sinuses

The sinuses are hollow chambers created by the bones of the face. They are located behind the forehead, nose, cheeks, and eyes. These chambers are lined with a membrane that contain cells covered with tiny hairs called cilia. These tiny hairs trap bacteria and contaminants and push them out of the body through your nose.

The sinuses are an important part of keeping your body free of pollutants and invasive bacteria in the air. However, in the case of a sinus infection, the membrane that lines your sinus chambers may become inflamed and swell, closing the hole through which your sinus drains. When this happens, patients experience the commonly-felt “sinus pressure” symptom. This also makes breathing through the nose difficult, perhaps impossible in extreme cases. This infection is known as “sinusitis.”

The Symptoms of Chronic Sinusitis

Normally, the sinuses drain through small openings into the inside of the nose. Anything that blocks the flow may cause a buildup of mucus in the sinuses. The blockage and inflammation of the sinus membranes can be infectious or non-infectious.

The symptoms caused by sinusitis may be quite uncomfortable. The signs and symptoms may include:

  • Facial pain or pressure
  • Difficulty breathing through the nose
  • Nasal discharge of yellow or green mucus
  • Teeth pain
  • Loss of the sense of smell or taste
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Sore throat
  • Bad breath

Balloon Sinuplasty™: A New Way to Treat Sinusitis

Previously, there were only two ways to treat sinusitis. For seasonal or acute cases, patients took sinus medicine that worked by decreasing the inflammation of the sinus membrane, allowing mucus to drain. This relieved symptoms, but only temporarily. Patients were forced to continue taking large amounts of sinus medication regularly until the acute episode passed. While this was a form of treatment, it was a hassle, and sometimes took a long time to become effective at all.

The other form of treatment was for extreme cases of chronic sinusitis. When inflammation was constant or the physical structure of the face prevented healthy sinus drainage, patients would need to undergo surgery. Physicians would remove the bones that form the opening of the sinus cavity, allowing the mucus to drain quickly. This created quick results, but as it was invasive, only the most extreme cases were qualified to receive it.

However, recent endoscopic technology has allowed for a third, less-invasive, nearly-immediate, and permanent symptom relief: Balloon Sinuplasty™. This treatment works by inserting an inflatable catheter into the sinus opening, then gently inflating the balloon while it is inside the blockage. This treatment creates an opening through which the sinus can drain, but it also gently reshapes the bones of the sinus so that the opening remains permanent.

Balloon Sinuplasty™ technology for treating chronic sinusitis symptoms include the following benefits:

  • It is clinically-tested to be safe and effective.
  • It is minimally-invasive, involving only small tubes and flexible wires and no cutting of any kind.
  • It has an incredibly fast recovery time, allowing patients to return to normal daily life within a day.
  • It can be used in conjunction with other sinus treatments.
  • It results in less bleeding, as it involves no tissue removal of any kind.

For more information about this procedure, please call us at (718) 604-5231.