During balloon sinus dilation, an instrument with a small balloon is inserted through the nose and guided to the treatment area. Once in place, the balloon is inflated, held for five seconds and then deflated, gently reshaping the sinus pathways and restoring drainage. After treatment is complete, the instrument and balloon are removed.
The FESS procedure involves the cutting and removal of bone and tissue to widen the sinus pathways and restore drainage. The exact procedure used by the ENT depends on a variety of factors, including the specific anatomy of the patient.
Patients undergoing balloon sinus dilation are given a local anesthetic to numb the area prior to the procedure. This minimizes discomfort during dilation.
Because FESS requires tissue removal and can be a more lengthy procedure, patients are typically put under general anesthesia. The use of general anesthesia means that a patients will need to arrange for transportation home after the procedure is complete.
Healing from FESS can take time, depending on the extent of the procedure, and can be uncomfortable. Patients recovering from FESS use prescription pain medication an average of two days longer than patients who have undergone balloon sinus dilation.
Because balloon sinus dilation is a less invasive procedure, there is less post-operative pain.
Nasal debridement is a procedure to remove crust and other contaminated tissue from the nasal cavity following a sinus surgery.
Nasal debridement is not typically performed following balloon sinus dilation.
In FESS, tissue removal can lead to crusting as the remaining tissue heals. To remove this crust or other contaminated tissue, an ENT often performs nasal debridement once or twice in the weeks following the procedure. The ENT inserts an endoscope and instruments into the nasal cavity to identify and remove the crust and tissue. Watch this video to learn more about debridement.*
Moving your sinusitis procedure from the OR (FESS) to the office (balloon sinus dilation) may lead to reduced costs for you and the healthcare system. Using the national average Medicare costs as an example, moving the same symptomatic patient from the OR to the office can result in a cost savings of up to 45%.iii
If you have an insurance plan that covers a certain percentage of any surgical procedure, the lower cost of balloon sinus dilation could lower your bill. As with most procedures, eligibility of reimbursement coverage is based on established medical necessity. You should consult your ear, nose and throat physician or contact your carrier for the specific requirements under your plan.
Cutler J, Bikhazi N, Light J, Truitt T, Schwartz M. Standalone balloon dilation versus sinus surgery for chronic rhinosinusitis: A prospective, multicenter, randomized, controlled trial. Am J Rhinol Allergy doi.org/10.2500/ajra.2013.27.3970.
Gould JD. In-office balloon dilation: Procedure techniques and outcomes using a malleable multi-sinus dilation tool. Vendome Healthcare Media, 19 Dec 2012.
Cost savings example details :