FALLBROOK — A common procedure to open blocked arteries in the heart is now being performed to open the blocked nasal passages of chronic sinus sufferers.
The new technique, called Balloon Sinuplasty, is being performed at Fallbrook Hospital by specially trained otolaryngologist Dr. John McGuire.
“This minimally invasive procedure takes about 30 minutes and involves using a small catheter and balloon to quickly open and expand blocked sinuses,” states Dr. McGuire.
Chronic sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinus lining lasting three months or more and is one of the most commonly diagnosed chronic illnesses.
It is caused by bacterial, viral, and/or microbial infections, as well as structural issues like blockages of the sinus opening.
Common signs and symptoms are:
• Facial pain, pressure, congestion or fullness
• Difficulty breathing through the nose
• Discharge of yellow or green mucus from the nose
• Tooth pain
• Loss of the sense of smell or taste
• Sore throat
• Bad breath
The most frequently used treatments for chronic sinusitis are medical therapies and/or conventional sinus surgery.
Medical therapy treatments include sprays, antibiotics, steroids and other remedies, while conventional sinus surgery involves removing tissue in order to open the sinus passages.
The breakthrough of Balloon Sinuplasty is that it is a tissue-preserving procedure; for the sinuses, this is essential for normal functioning.
Dr. McGuire is one of the first physicians in this area to offer this procedure.
“For some patients,” he says, “conventional sinus surgery is necessary. However, for those with the right indications, Balloon Sinuplasty offers a radical alternative with a quicker recovery (one to two days versus weeks). The Balloon Sinuplasty technique is perhaps the most important innovation in treating chronic sinusitis in 25 years.”
Anyone who suffers from chronic sinusitis should consult with a physician to determine the right treatment option. For more information call (760) 731-8432.