For millions of people, chronic sinusitis is a constant irritant: stuffy nose, difficulty breathing, and swelling and tenderness around the eyes. Chronic sinusitis can interfere with overall quality of life for weeks, months, or even years on end. Medication therapies like nasal corticosteroids and saline nasal irrigation may help some patients. For many, however, surgery may be the best option.
At St. Thomas Medical Group, ear nose and throat (ENT) specialists in Nashville offer several procedures for treating chronic sinusitis. Two of these procedures are known as balloon sinuplasty and septorhinoplasty.
What Is Balloon Sinuplasty?
Balloon sinuplasty – you may also hear it referred to as “BSP” – is a minimally invasive procedure that may provide sinus pain relief to individuals with chronic sinusitis. It’s an in-office procedure that involves no cutting of any tissues or bone. Hundreds of thousands of people have undergone this procedure and enjoyed the fast-acting, long-lasting results.
How Does BSP Work?
During a balloon sinuplasty procedure, your ENT doctor will insert a small balloon catheter through the nasal passageways to reach the inflamed sinus. The balloon is inflated and saline is sprayed through the catheter in order to flush out mucus and infection. Once the sinus is cleared, the balloon is removed and the sinuses remain open. Additionally, use of the balloon helps widen the walls of the sinus passageway.
Again, this procedure is done in-office; local anesthesia is all that’s necessary for this procedure. The majority of patients who undergo BSP are back to work and normal activities in just two days. In a study of 203 patients who underwent the procedure, more than 82% said the procedure was “tolerable” or “highly tolerable.”
What Is Septorhinoplasty?
Septorhinoplasty is a surgical procedure during which any internal obstructions blocking the nasal passageway are surgically removed. Additionally, the appearance of the nose may be improved during this procedure.
The surgery combines two common procedures: septoplasty and rhinoplasty.
- Septoplasty: During this procedure, an ENT specialist sets the septum straight. The septum is the bone and cartilage that separates the two nostrils and nasal cavities. “Deviation” of the septum is a common reason for having septoplasty.
Rhinoplasty: In rhinoplasty, surgeons change the shape of the nose in order to alter physical appearance or improve breathing. Unlike many forms of cosmetic or plastic surgery, rhinoplasty may be covered fully or in part by insurance.
- Septorhinoplasty is commonly used to obtain a desired nose shape and size while also improving a person’s ability to breathe clearly.
How Does Septorhinoplasty Work?
During the procedure, which is performed under general anesthesia, the surgeon removes parts of cartilage and bone in order to create the desired shape. The septum is broken and straightened in order to improve breathing and reduce symptoms associated with chronic sinusitis.
Recovery from septorhinoplasty may take between one and two weeks. It can take several months for the final appearance of the nose to take shape.
Do I Have Chronic Sinusitis?
While only a doctor can diagnose chronic sinusitis, individuals with this condition may experience symptoms such as inflammation of the nasal passageways, difficulty breathing, pain or tenderness around the sinus cavities, reduced smell and taste sensation, drainage, and abnormal mucus discharge. If you experience some of these symptoms, talk to your doctor at St. Thomas Medical Group about what options may be available to you.
Schedule An Appointment at the Nashville ENT & Allergy Clinic
Have questions for an ENT specialist in our Nashville offices? For more information or to schedule an appointment, call +1 (615) 383-9089 or visit the Nashville ENT & Allergy Clinic online. You, too, may be breathing easy again… call today to learn about your options!