Balloon dilation offers sinus relief

Posted at 9:58 PM, Sep 28, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-28 23:58:12-04

SALT LAKE CITY – A procedure now being performed in doctors’ offices is helping people breathe a little easier.

The process is called a balloon sinus dilation and it is an outpatient procedure that can help alleviate sinus pain.

Dr. Nadim Bikhazi, an otolaryngologist at a clinic in Ogden, described the procedure.

“What it is is a device that enters the sinus and balloon dilates the openings that have been blocked over time, so essentially it does what sinus surgery does, but in a convenient outpatient office procedure,” Bikhazi said.

The method can offer a shorter recovery time than surgery does.

“When you balloon dilate the sinus, that opening is permanent,” Bikhazi said. “Now you will feel some congestion over the course of a week to two weeks, just like you would with sinus surgery, but the return seems to be quicker than sinus surgeries.”

The patient is awake during the procedure, but Bikhazi said people will feel a bit of pressure but are unlikely to experience pain.

The procedure is covered by about 50 percent of insurance plans in Utah, and those who think they may benefit should consult an ear, nose and throat specialist.