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No appointment necessary. Visit one of our convenient locations listed below.


  Sanford Downtown Walk-in Clinic
Serving all ages
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  Sanford North Walk-in Clinic
Serving all ages
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  Sanford Children's Walk-in Clinic
Serving children
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  Sanford Health Walk-in Clinic
Serving all ages
Location and hours »


  Sanford Health Walk-in Clinic
Serving all ages
Location and hours »

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Sanford Ear, Nose & Throat

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Q and A

Sinusitis: What is balloon sinuplasty?

Dr. W. Thomas Coombe
W. Thomas Coombe, MD
  Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinus lining. If the sinus opening becomes blocked due to this swelling, normal mucus drainage may not occur, and this may lead to recurrent sinus infections and painful symptoms. Sinusitis can be acute, lasting for less than four weeks, or chronic, lasting longer than 12 weeks. When sinus symptoms last longer than 12 weeks, you should see an ear, nose and throat doctor for a diagnosis.

Sinusitis symptoms include: drainage of a thick, yellow or greenish discharge from the nose or down the back of the throat; nasal obstruction or congestion; tenderness and swelling around the eyes, cheeks, nose and forehead; and/or a reduced sense of smell and taste.

Traditional vs. balloon sinuplasty

Previously, the only surgical option for clearing blocked sinuses was known as functional endoscopic sinus surgery, which removes bone and tissue from the nose to enlarge the sinus opening. This removal of bone and tissue can require uncomfortable nasal packing of gauze after surgery and lead to post-surgery pain and scarring.

When sinusitis sufferers do not respond well to medications, balloon sinuplasty is an innovative option. Balloon sinuplasty uses a small, flexible balloon catheter to open blocked sinus passageways and facilitate drainage of the mucus that builds up in patients suffering from chronic sinusitis. When the sinus balloon is inflated, it restructures and widens the walls of the sinus passageway while maintaining the integrity of the sinus lining.

Unlike traditional sinus surgery, balloon sinuplasty requires no cutting and no removal of bone and tissue and, therefore, is typically performed under general anesthesia in an outpatient setting. Also, the procedure can now be performed for mild and moderate cases in the office at Sanford Ear, Nose & Throat, rather than in an operating room.

If you’ve been diagnosed with sinusitis by a medical professional within the past six months, call Sanford Ear, Nose & Throat at (701) 323-8922 or click here to request an appointment online.


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