Nilesh Patel, MD
Ear, Nose & Throat Doctors & Otolaryngology located in Midtown, New York, NY
Dr. Patel is skilled in state-of-the-art treatment techniques like balloon sinuplasty so patients in and around Midtown, New York can experience a relief of painful symptoms like chronic infection, congestion, post-nasal drip, headaches, snoring and difficulty breathing.
Balloon Sinuplasty and Turbinate Q & A
What is balloon sinuplasty?
Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive technique used to expand the sinuses to relieve the symptoms of chronic sinus infections called sinusitis. Balloon sinuplasty is ideal for patients whose sinusitis is caught early, but it can be effective for people with long-standing chronic conditions as well. In general, balloon sinuplasty can be beneficial for patients with:
recurrent infections that don't resolve with the use of antibiotics
sinus headaches (aching around the eyes and behind the cheeks)
difficulties breathing through the nose
long-term bad breath or foul taste in the mouth
chronic nasal drip and other longstanding nasal problems
How is balloon sinuplasty performed?
Balloon sinuplasty is performed through the nostrils using a long, flexible instrument called a catheter. Using a catheter eliminates the need for incisions so the risk of infection is minimized and healing is much faster than it would be with a traditional “open” surgical procedure. Once the catheter is inserted into the sinus cavity, a tiny balloon is deployed and inflated to gently expand and widen the sinus passages so sinuses can drain and function properly. Once the area has been widened, the balloon is deflated and removed along with the catheter. Procedures are performed on an outpatient basis under sedation or general anesthesia.
What are the benefits of balloon sinuplasty?
Balloon sinuplasty is a simple, minimally invasive procedure that offers safe, effective results without the risks and long downtime associated with open surgery. The technique also causes less bleeding, swelling and pain compared to traditional techniques. Because no tissue is removed, nasal packing is often not required and recovery is quick, meaning most patients can resume their regular activities in much less time than with traditional surgical approaches.
What are turbinates?
Turbinates are curved, spongy bones located along the walls of the sinus and protruding slightly into the sinus cavity where they help warm and filter air before it enters the lower airways and lungs. As filters, they play an important role in preventing germs and pollutants from causing medical issues like upper respiratory infections. But in some people, the turbinates grow large enough to cause breathing problems, blocking the flow of air and making sinus drainage difficult, resulting in chronic congestion and sinus infections. Even when turbinates are not oversized, colds and allergies can cause swelling and enlargement that can prevent normal breathing and increase the risk of prolonged sinus infections.
What is turbinate reduction?
Turbinate reduction is a minimally invasive procedure that's used to shrink the size of the turbinates so air flows normally and sinus drainage issues are corrected. The procedure can remove bone as well as mucus membranes, depending on each individual patient's symptoms and needs. Turbinate reduction is typically performed in patients who experience chronic infections or significant breathing impairment and whose symptoms can't be resolved by the use of antihistamines or antibiotics.
How is turbinate reduction performed?
Turbinate reduction is performed through the nostrils using a long, flexible tube called an endoscope so there are no visible incisions. The turbinate material is carefully removed using specially designed instruments or, in some cases, laser energy. Once the material is removed, cautery or radiofrequency energy may be used to prevent post-treatment bleeding and make recovery more comfortable.
Can turbinate reduction eliminate sinus headaches or snoring?
Yes, in many patients, reducing the size of the turbinates enables the sinuses to drain and function more efficiently, eliminating some of the most common causes of sinus infections as well as symptoms like headache, post-nasal drip and even snoring.
See some of our patient reviews about undergoing a balloon sinuplasty procedure below.
"I've been a patient of Dr. Patel's for 13 years. He encouraged me to undergo the sinuplasty in 2011 - the best thing that has happened to me. I haven't had a sinus infection in a few years, and my breathing has improved drastically. He is a kind, and caring physician that took the time to explain the benefits if the procedure. I still see him annually for checkups and am so glad to be off antibiotics!" -T.F. (Yelp)