Balloon Sinuplasty

Your Guide to the Sinus Balloon Procedure: Balloon Sinuplasty

September 2, 2022

5 minutes

Reviewed by Michael Kaplan, MD

If you’ve recently decided to address any chronic sinus conditions — such as sinus headaches, chronic infections, or snoring — with the much-discussed “sinus balloon procedure” (aka balloon sinuplasty), you may also be wondering what to expect.

Balloon sinuplasty is a quick, minimally invasive, in-office procedure that gently uses a balloon to reshape the sinus and restore drainage. Because the procedure is fairly pain-free, many patients don’t need any type of pain management, but those who feel anxious about the procedure can opt to use IV sedation.

Michael Kaplan, MD, the founding sinus doctor of Kaplan Sinus Relief and pioneer of balloon sinuplasty in Houston, has successfully performed over 5,000 balloon sinuplasty procedures on individuals suffering from chronic sinusitis in Houston and from around the world. In this article, we will walk you through what to expect during the sinuplasty procedure from beginning to end.

How to prepare for the procedure

Before the procedure, you’ll be scheduled for an initial appointment. During this appointment, you’ll fill out some paperwork and explain your symptoms to Dr. Kaplan. He will likely use a CT scan to look at your sinuses to get a better idea of what we’re working with. From there, the treatment plan will be tailored to your unique needs and your balloon sinuplasty procedure will be scheduled.

Outside of your initial appointment, there isn’t too much you need to do to prepare yourself for balloon sinuplasty. However, we do recommend that you arrange a ride home from the procedure. Even without any type of pain management, your head may feel a little fuzzy post-procedure and it’s best not to take any risks when it comes to the safety of yourself and others on the road.

What to expect during the procedure

It’s natural to have a lot of questions before heading into your sinus balloon procedure and you may find yourself asking questions such as is sinus balloon surgery painful? Are you awake during balloon sinuplasty? What type of anesthesia is used for balloon sinuplasty?

The procedure itself uses the Targeted Guided Surgery (TGS) navigation system, similar to a GPS, to locate the affected sinus. Dr. Kaplan will then gently position and inflate a small balloon to reshape the sinus. This incredible technology allows balloon sinuplasty to be completed in a more accurate, safer manner.

Although the technology used for the balloon sinuplasty procedure is complex, the procedure itself is fairly simple. The day of your procedure is all about your comfort. If you feel anxious, we offer full IV sedation or partial oral sedation to make sure you’re as relaxed as possible. However, balloon sinuplasty is a virtually painless procedure and most of our patients are comfortable without any interventions.

Hear more about what to expect on the day of your procedure from Dr. Kaplan himself!

How long does balloon sinuplasty last?

When questioning the length of the balloon sinuplasty procedure itself, the entire procedure only takes about 20-30 minutes.

As far as how long this form of chronic sinusitis treatment lasts, the results from balloon sinuplasty are comparable to — if not better than — the results of traditional sinus surgeries. According to recent studies and patient testimonials, relief can last for two years minimum. How long you’ll benefit from the results will depend on the severity of your sinus condition and your general health status, but this procedure delivers long-lasting relief for many patients.

Recovering after the sinus balloon procedure 

Because the sinus balloon procedure has a low risk for complications, your balloon sinuplasty recovery experience is more focused on maintaining your comfort and relieving minor side effects such as congestion, rather than preventing difficulties.

To achieve the most comfort following your procedure, follow these guidelines:

  1. Plan for a ride home after the procedure as you may feel a little sluggish even without IV sedation.
  2. Give your body at least the next 24 hours to rest and recover.
  3. Keep your head elevated for the first day or two to help reduce any swelling and congestion.
  4. Take any medication as prescribed by your doctor.
  5. Do not take any additional sinus or allergy medications without the approval of your doctor.
  6. Avoid blowing your nose for the first 24-48 hours after the procedure.
  7. Avoid any strenuous activity for the next week.

How long does it take to recover from balloon sinuplasty? 

Unlike traditional sinus surgery, sinus balloon surgery recovery is relatively quick and painless. You should be back to your normal activities within 24 to 48 hours of the procedure and can expect to notice all of the benefits within a week’s time.

That said, as with any medical procedure, balloon sinuplasty could come with side effects such as:

  • Swelling
  • Congestion
  • Tenderness
  • Grogginess
  • Bloody discharge

These side effects are typically minimal and may last for up to a week. If you experience any severe side effects that aren’t listed above or symptoms last longer than a week, schedule a follow-up appointment with your surgeon.

Find out if you’re a good candidate for balloon sinuplasty in Houston!

Overall, the sinus balloon procedure from the initial appointment to post-procedure care is relatively quick, painless, and stress-free. With less than 30 minutes spent in the office for the procedure itself and about 1-2 days of healing time, balloon sinuplasty offers an efficient solution that helps you breathe better almost overnight.

If you want to learn more about whether you’re a good candidate for balloon sinuplasty for allergies, chronic sinus conditions, sinus headaches, coughs, snoring, and more, schedule an appointment with Kaplan Sinus Relief today!

More Helpful Articles by Kaplan Sinus Relief:


4101 Greenbriar Street, Suite 320

Houston, TX 77098