Sinus surgery or sinuplasty is an effective way to improve the symptoms of chronic sinusitis, which is one of the most commonly diagnosed chronic illnesses. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 29.8 million adults were diagnosed with chronic sinusitis in 2010.
Chronic sinusitis is due to inflammation of the sinus lining that lasts for three months or more, mostly caused by infections (bacterial, viral, or fungal). The structure of the sinus openings and blockages of the nasal passages can also lead to this condition. If there is improper drainage or closure of the sinus openings, mucus will not drain properly. This can lead to inflammation and possible infection of the sinuses.
Dr. Dutton, director of the Rhinoplasty Institute of Chicago, is the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles on sinus surgery and is well-known as an expert in this field. He is the former Chief of Rhinology/Facial Plastic Surgery at Rush University Medical Center, and he is also double-board-certified in both Otolaryngology and Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Due to these credentials, he is considered one of the country’s leading sinus surgeons.
Benefits of Sinus Surgery
- Nasal and/or facial congestion, pain, or fullness
- Night-time coughing
- Inability or reduced ability to breathe through the nose
- Yellow or green nasal discharge
- Sore throat
Some patients who receive sinus surgery elect to undergo a cosmetic rhinoplasty at the same time to improve the external appearance of the nose. Dr. Dutton is one of the country’s leading experts in concurrent sinus surgery and rhinoplasty. If you are found to have a deviated septum or other structural anomaly in the nose, a functional rhinoplasty may be recommended.
The Sinus Surgery Procedure
There are many techniques to enlarge the obstructed opening to the sinuses. One innovative technique involves using a balloon to dilate the entrance to the sinuses similar to how doctors open up blocked arteries of the heart during a balloon angioplasty. This minimally invasive technique is called “balloon catheter dilation” or “balloon sinuplasty,” during which the doctor threads a guide wire equipped with a tiny balloon into the nostrils and up to the area of blockage. He then inflates the balloon just enough to open the passageway. Since the procedure is so atraumatic with no cutting or scraping of the sinuses, no packing is necessary, and the recovery time is minimal. The technology is safe and minimally invasive.
This is a procedure that can be performed in Dr. Dutton’s office with local anesthesia, which allows you to have a speedier recovery and get back to your normal life much more quickly. Dr. Dutton is an expert in the area of balloon catheter dilation, and travels nationally to teach other surgeons how to perform this procedure.
Sinus Surgery Recovery
Most patients can return to work and other normal activities within a day or two of balloon sinuplasty. It may take a few weeks for sinus pressure to be fully relieved, however. You can expect nasal congestion to continue for a few weeks during the healing process, including some bloody discharge.
It is important to avoid blowing your nose for a period of time after your surgery. You may also experience some post-surgical pain, but this can be managed with medications. Usually, over-the-counter formulas are sufficient.
You will have post-operative visits with Dr. Dutton to assist your healing and monitor your progress.