Minimally Invasive Sinus Program

Chronic Sinusitis -- It causes pain, headaches and many other problems, including nausea, fatigue and mouth pain.

Fortunately, doctors at McLaren have developed a Minimally Invasive Sinus Program that includes a breakthrough procedure called Balloon SinuplastyTM.

This minimally invasive procedure uses Technology by Acclarent to open blockages, yet preserve the natural structure of the sinuses.

With Balloon Sinuplasty, a specially designed catheter (small tube) is inserted into the nose to reach the inflamed sinus cavity. A small balloon is slowly inflated, which widens and restructures the walls of the sinus passage without cutting and with minimal bleeding.

This procedure helps to drain mucus from the blocked sinus and restore normal mucus flow. The balloon is then removed, leaving the sinuses open.

Typically the procedure is performed under general anesthesia as an outpatient in the operating room, but some physicians perform it in an office setting using local anesthesia.


According to published studies, up to 60 percent of chronic sinusitis patients are not successfully treated with medication. With Balloon Sinuplasty, however, clinical studies showed that sinus symptoms improved in 95 percent of patients who had the procedure in the operating room at an average follow-up period of nine months. Two to three years later, these patients reported significant improvement in symptoms.

Because the procedure is minimally invasive, without cutting, patients experience a faster recovery than with traditional sinus surgery. Traditional surgery, known as functional endoscopic sinus surgery or FESS, is considered only if medical treatment fails or if there is a nasal and/or sinus obstruction that cannot be corrected with medication. FESS clears blocked sinuses by removing bone and tissue to enlarge the sinus opening, which may lead to pain, scarring and bleeding.

Balloon Sinuplasty requires no cutting, so the patient experiences less bleeding and a faster return to a normal routine.

Note: Traditional surgery may be still required for some patients, especially those with sinus or nasal obstructions.

Our ENT specialists

At McLaren, Balloon Sinuplasty is performed in by board-certified Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialists. Patients suffering from the symptoms of sinusitis, who are not responding well to medications, should make an appointment with a McLaren ENT physician to see if Balloon Sinuplasty is right for them.

Background on Sinusitis

Is it a cold, allergies or sinusitis?

Your nose is congested and it's hard to breathe. Thick mucus irritates the back of your throat. Your face, head and even your teeth hurt from the pressure. You're losing your sense of smell and taste and you're tired and irritable.

Many people suffer from these symptoms, thinking they have yet another cold or allergy attack. However, cold medicines and allergy pills don't help.

Finally, you see your primary care doctor who says it's acute sinusitis. So what is it?

Sinusitis is a temporary inflammation of the sinus lining caused by a bacterial infection and commonly called a sinus infection. Your doctor may recommend saline or steroid nasal sprays, antibiotics or decongestants to help relieve the condition.

For those who experience these symptoms longer than 12 weeks, however, the diagnosis could be chronic sinusitis.

Sinusitis affects 37 million Americans each year, making it one of the most common health problems. It can impact a person's quality of life and accounts for more than $8 billion in annual health care expenditures.

A look into the sinuses

The sinuses are hollow spaces in the skull which serve to lighten the skull and give resonance to the voice. The sinuses open into the nasal cavity and generate mucus to keep the nose from drying out during breathing. They also trap unwanted materials and keep them from reaching the lungs.

When a person has acute or chronic sinusitis, the mucous membranes of the nose, sinuses and throat become inflamed, possibly from a pre-existing cold or allergies. Swelling obstructs the sinus openings and prevents normal mucus drainage, causing mucus and pressure to build up.

Along with the symptoms listed above, this condition can also cause tenderness and swelling around the eyes, cheeks, nose and forehead, throbbing facial pain, headaches, bad breath, irritability, fatigue or nausea.

Studies have found that up to 60 percent of chronic sinusitis patients are not successfully treated with medication. Surgery was once the next step for these patients, but recent breakthroughs in minimally invasive procedures have led to another option -- Balloon Sinuplasty using technology by Acclarent.

If you have symptoms of sinusitis, contact a McLaren ENT specialist for an appointment.

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