Balloon sinuplasty: a minimally invasive option for patients with chronic rhinosinusitis

Postgrad Med. 2011 Mar;123(2):112-8. doi: 10.3810/pgm.2011.03.2269.


Rhinosinusitis affects ~37 million people in the United States and accounts for almost 2% of all primary care office visits. Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is often successfully managed in the primary care setting using antibiotics, topical or oral steroids, and saline nasal irrigation. Surgery is an option when medical management fails. Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive endoscopic treatment, which is often used in combination with surgery. It aims to restore ostial patency with minimal mucosal damage, and it is indicated for dilatation of the paranasal sinuses for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. The technology gently displaces, microfractures, and molds the bone surrounding the sinus outflow and may be used alone or in combination with conventional endoscopic surgery. Recent uncontrolled retrospective and prospective studies have reported the effectiveness and safety of balloon sinuplasty, including radiographic evidence of sinus patency and improved sinus-related quality of life scores for up to 2 years after balloon dilation. An examination of adverse events during a postmarketing assessment of balloon sinuplasty identified a total of 3 major complications among 28 500 patients, with a total of > 85 000 treated sinuses. While randomized controlled trials comparing balloon sinuplasty with conventional functional endoscopic sinus surgery have not been conducted, existing prospective and retrospective assessments suggest that balloon sinuplasty is a viable option for sinus intervention, either alone or in combination with conventional surgical treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Catheterization / adverse effects
  • Catheterization / methods*
  • Endoscopy / methods
  • Humans
  • Paranasal Sinuses / surgery
  • Rhinitis / surgery*
  • Rhinitis / therapy
  • Sinusitis / surgery*
  • Sinusitis / therapy
  • Treatment Outcome