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Balloon Sinus Dilation

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Minimally Invasive Sinus Surgery using Balloon Dilation

Since 2016, Western Carolina Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialists has offered balloon sinus dilation, including in-office procedures without general anesthesia for eligible patients.


Traditional sinus surgery has deterred some due to pain, recovery concerns, and anesthesia. Recent advances in balloon sinus dilation now provide an in-office option for select patients.

Balloon sinus dilation is a safe and successful technique, with over 300,000 patients and 90,000 sinuses treated nationwide, including over 40,000 in-office cases. Most patients resume normal activities the next day with minimal discomfort. A recent study found that 90% of patients treated would recommend it to others.

It's important to note that not all patients are candidates, and eligibility is determined by Dr. Wenzel after a thorough clinical evaluation.

Nasal Irrigation

In the past, patients often avoided sinus surgery due to concerns about pain, recovery, and traditional surgery under general anesthesia. Recent advancements in office-based treatments like balloon sinus dilation have provided alternatives, an option we've offered for over five years at Western Carolina Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialists.

Nasal Saline Irrigation Devices

To treat sinusitis, various nasal saline delivery and irrigation devices are available. We do not sell or endorse any specific device. These are accessible at local pharmacies or online.

Watch the video below to learn about how to use a nasal irrigation device:

Medical Therapy

Sinusitis Treatment: 
Dr. Wenzel's Approach to Medical Therapy

At Western Carolina ENT Specialists, we adhere to established clinical guidelines for sinusitis treatment. Our first-line approach is medical therapy, which may involve various medications tailored to address your specific condition and symptoms.

Dr. Wenzel may recommend:

  • Nasal Steroids: These sprays reduce sinus lining inflammation temporarily, providing symptom relief. Some patients have concerns about steroid use, which can have side effects when taken long-term. You can find more information in the package insert or discuss potential side effects during your visit.

  • Antibiotics: If bacterial infection accompanies sinus inflammation, we may prescribe antibiotics.

  • Decongestants and Other Medical Management: Decongestant nose drops, nasal sprays, oral decongestants, and nasal saline rinses aim to ease symptoms by reducing mucous membrane swelling and promoting drainage. Additional medications, like antihistamine sprays, may be recommended based on your history and examination findings.

When Medical Therapy Falls Short – Advanced Treatment Options:

Many patients experience chronic or recurrent acute sinusitis where medical therapy offers limited relief. For such cases, we specialize in advanced surgical treatments, including:

  • Office Balloon Sinus Dilation

  • Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

Please note that insurance coverage may have specific guidelines that we follow for these treatment options, and we will assist with obtaining preauthorization when necessary.


More Information & Scheduling

Treatment Options

In-Office Sinus Dilation for Lasting Relief

At Western Carolina ENT Specialists, we have a successful history of performing in-office sinus dilation since 2016 with excellent results.

Office sinus dilation is a minimally invasive procedure, conveniently conducted by Dr. Wenzel in our offices. This procedure aims to reshape anatomy, expanding sinus pathways and restoring proper drainage. Here's how it works:

Small balloons are strategically placed in the nose and sinus, then gently dilated to widen the sinus pathways. For select patients with unresolved symptoms despite medication, it can offer effective and long-lasting relief.

The advantages of office sinus dilation include:

  • Immediate, enduring relief (1.2)

  • Comfortable and convenient office procedure (3)

  • Swift recovery, with most patients returning to regular activities within 24 hours (4)

  • Potential reduction in healthcare costs 

Discuss office sinus dilation with Dr. Wenzel today!

Dr. Wenzel is a highly skilled practitioner in office sinus dilation technologies. Schedule an appointment at our office to determine if balloon sinus dilation is the right choice for you.

Western Carolina Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialists & Center for Hearing - Balloon Sinus Dilation

Article references:


1. Stankiewicz J, Truitt T, Atkins J, Winegar B, Cink P, Raviv J, Henderson D, Tami T. Two-year results: transantral balloon dilation of the ethmoid infundibulum. Int Forum Allergy Rhinol. 2012 May; 2(3): 199-206.

2. Stankiewicz J, Tami T, Truitt T, Atkins J, Liepert D, Winger B. Transantral, endoscopically guided balloon dilatation of the ostiomeatal complex for chronic rhinosinusitis under local anesthesia. Am J of Rhinology. 2009 May-June; 321-327.

3. Gould, J. In-office balloon dilation: Procedure techniques and outcomes using a malleable multi-sinus dilation tool. ENT Journal. Vendome Healthcare Media, 19 Dec 2012.

4. Stankiewicz J, Truitt T, Atkins J, Winegar B, Cink P, Raviv J, Henderson D, Tami T. Two-year results: transantral balloon dilation of the ethmoid infundibulum. Int Forum Allergy Rhinol. 2012 May; 2(3): 199-206.


Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

While medical therapy is effective for many, some patients with chronic or recurrent sinusitis may not find lasting relief through medications alone. In such cases, balloon sinus dilation may not be the recommended solution.

In these situations, our providers may propose Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (ESS). Similar to the goal of balloon sinus dilation, ESS aims to widen the sinus drainage pathways, facilitating proper drainage and aiding in the healing of the sinus mucosa

Western Carolina Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialists & Center for Hearing - Balloon Sinus Dilation vs. Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

How Endoscopic Sinus Surgery Works

Endoscopic sinus surgery involves the use of an endoscope, which is gently inserted through your nostrils. This allows Dr. Wenzel to visualize the passageways and sinus openings. Micro-cutting instruments are then employed to remove obstructive or abnormal tissue. This tissue removal widens the sinus openings and pathways for improved sinus drainage, ultimately aiding in the clearing of sinuses and the promotion of healing.

Clinical Benefits of Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

Numerous studies have demonstrated that patients undergoing functional endoscopic sinus surgery experience statistically significant improvements in symptoms and overall quality of life following the procedure. (1)

There are various approaches to endoscopic sinus surgery, and if you are a suitable candidate, Dr. Wenzel will discuss the recommended option and the associated risks.

Recovery After Endoscopic Sinus Surgery

Recovery times for endoscopic sinus surgery can vary depending on the procedure's extent. In general, most individuals can return to their normal activities within one to two weeks post-surgery. (2)

Article references:

1. Impact of functional endoscopic sinus surgery on symptoms and quality of life in chronic rhino sinusitis. Damm M, Quante G, Jungehuelsing M, Stennart E. Laryngoscope. 2002 Feb: 112(2): 310-5

2. Pain treatment and recovery after endoscopic sinus surgery. Kemppainen TP, Tuomilehto H, Kokki H, Seppa J, Nuutinen J. Laryngoscope. 2009 May-June: 321-327

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