Objectives: This study assesses the safety and effectiveness of balloon catheters used as instruments in sinus surgery in a "real-world" multicenter registry of 1,036 patients across 27 US otolaryngology practices.
Methods: Data were collected by standardized chart review with centralized database administration for all consecutive functional endoscopic sinus surgeries that included the use of balloon catheters across the 18-month time period from December 2005 to May 2007.
Results: Balloon catheters were used in 3,276 peripheral (maxillary, frontal, and sphenoid) sinuses, for an average of 3.2 sinuses per patient. There were no major adverse events related to the use of balloon catheter instruments. The revision rate was 1.3% of sinuses treated with a balloon catheter after an average follow-up of 40.2 weeks. Sinus symptoms were improved in 95.2%, unchanged in 3.8%, and worse in 1.0% of patients. Postoperative sinus infections were significantly less frequent and less severe compared to infections before surgery. The results were consistent across all patient categories, including balloon-only patients and revision patients.
Conclusions: Use of balloon catheters as instruments in sinus surgery appears to be relatively safe and effective and to improve the patient's quality of life. The results are consistent and generalizable across a wide range of sinusitis patients and physician practices. The complication rates, revision rates, and patient symptom improvement rates all compare favorably with previously reported results of functional endoscopic sinus surgery.