Balloon Sinuplasty

Is Balloon Sinus Dilation Painful?

October 3, 2022

4 minutes

Reviewed by Michael Kaplan, MD

For those who are considering balloon sinuplasty, it is only natural to wonder if balloon sinus dilation is painful. Because suffering from chronic sinusitis and other sinus-related problems can make everyday life uncomfortable, many patients are looking to long-lasting solutions for help, including sinus surgery in its many forms. Although relief may be in sight, many patients still fear getting a procedure, because they anticipate that it will be painful. 

Michael Kaplan, M.D., founding sinus specialist of Kaplan Sinus Relief, is the pioneer of balloon sinuplasty in Houston and is here to explain how you can enjoy better breathing pain-free with balloon sinus dilation.

Here are some commonly asked questions that patients tend to raise during their balloon sinuplasty consultation.

Q: Is balloon sinus dilation painful?

Not at all! Balloon sinuplasty is known to be virtually pain-free due to its minimally invasive nature, which we will discuss soon. While traditional sinus surgeries typically involve cutting the bone or tissue inside the nose (causing more pain and a longer recovery), balloon sinus dilation is a safer, more effective, and less painful alternative to endoscopic sinus surgeries. 

Q: How does balloon sinus dilation work?

Balloon sinuplasty is performed by a sinus specialist — or in this case, sinus surgery pioneer Dr. Michael Kaplan — inserting a balloon into the affected sinus pathway. The balloon will then dilate and expand in order to widen the passageway. Once it’s done its job, the balloon is deflated and removed, restoring the patient’s ability to breathe through the nose. It’s that simple! No cutting, no damage. The entire procedure will last only around 20 minutes making it the quickest and best treatment for sinus problems for many patients.

Q: Are you awake for balloon sinuplasty?

Because balloon sinuplasty is expeditious, minimally invasive, and virtually pain-free, the patient can be awake for the entire procedure. However, surgery, no matter what health condition you’re facing, can be an anxiety-inducing experience, especially if you are someone who is afraid of pain. 

Kaplan Sinus Relief does offer IV sedation for balloon sinuplasty for patients who may feel nervous about the procedure in order to stay relaxed. We prefer to use IV sedation vs general anesthesia to reduce the risk of tissue damage and bleeding that general anesthesia can often cause in traditional sinus surgeries. 

Are you awake with IV sedation? 

If you opt for IV sedation, you will be “semi-awake.” In this state, you can respond to questions and can receive instructions while still feeling relaxed. However, IV sedation can give you a drowsy feeling during and after the procedure, so it is important that someone else is there to drive you home afterward. 

With or without assistance, you will likely not feel any pain at all during balloon sinus dilation! 

Q: ​​How do you feel after balloon sinuplasty?

You may have feelings of grogginess and tenderness immediately following the procedure which is completely normal. If you did receive IV sedation, you will most likely feel drowsy. You shouldn’t feel any pain, only some mild discomfort that will go away as you heal. After all, you did have a balloon up your nose!

The balloon sinuplasty recovery experience can vary from patient to patient — however, a vast majority of patients say that balloon sinus dilation recovery is a breeze. A patient can be completely healed from balloon sinus dilation in just 1-2 days! You may experience congestion, slight swelling, and bloody nose drainage as you heal, but these are all common side effects that should resolve within those first 48 hours. If you’re experiencing symptoms for more than a week, contact your surgeon for assistance. 

Continue reading: Can a sinus infection cause loss of taste?

Balloon sinus dilation: A pain-free solution for better breathing

If you are searching for a virtually painless, long-lasting solution to your sinus problems, balloon sinus dilation could be the answer to all of your problems. We understand that surgery can make any patient nervous, so if you have any questions about whether balloon sinuplasty is right for you, contact Dr. Kaplan at Kaplan Sinus Relief. As the expert, he can provide you with any information required to make you feel more comfortable.

Ready for a lifetime of comfortable breathing? Give us a call at 713-766-1818 or schedule an appointment online today to learn more about our services.

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Houston, TX 77098