An otolaryngologist is a medical doctor who specializes in diseases and disorders of the ear, nose, and throat. An otolaryngologist is often referred to as an ear, nose and throat doctor. He or she sees patients with a range of conditions that affect the ears, sinuses, pharynx, larynx and other structures of the head and neck. You may see an otolaryngologist for chronic ear infections, hearing loss, sinusitis, cochlear implants and more.
Balloon sinuplasty is mainly a use for treating chronic sinusitis, and the whole idea is to dilate the little drainage pathways, the ostia, without actually doing any cutting to the sinuses.
So this is the latest technique. It was first introduced in North America in about 2005. Balloon sinuplasty can actually be done in the office, with the patient awake, so you don’t need the OR to do it. It’s mainly used for patients with a single-sinus disease, so you don’t really have to open all the sinuses, if you just have one sinus that’s causing a problem.
You can actually thread a wire or a balloon into the opening of that particular sinus, enlarge the balloon for ten seconds, and then pull it out, and you’ve got a nice opening. Then you can actually flush that sinus out while you’re doing that. You’ve actually got the treatment done with the patient sitting in your office and going home with their sinus issue resolved without having any surgery done in an operating room. Once the ostia are opened, the surgery is done.