Nasal Congestion After Balloon Sinuplasty

By Stephen Chandler, MD |4 November 2021|

If you suffer from chronic sinusitis then you may be considering balloon sinuplasty. This innovative and fun-sounding procedure is the last option for many patients, but should it be one of the first? Balloon sinuplasty can eliminate infections caused by poor drainage and permanently improve the quality of life; however, as we know, congestion is still possible for a brief period post operation. Here we’ll discuss what sinuplasty is, whether it works, and why congestion can still occur.

What Is Balloon Sinuplasty & How Does It Work?

Balloon Sinuplasty is an outpatient procedure that can eliminate chronic sinus infections by enhancing your ability to drain mucus and debris. It works by having a small soft balloon catheter inserted into your blocked sinus. The balloon is then inflated slowly to allow your sinuses to drain freely and on their own. 

Then, the physician will push saline solution through the catheter to remove any harmful debris. This procedure does not require sedation nor does it involve any incisions. Additionally, this procedure can be completed in a single day with no need for complicated aftercare.

Is it Painful?

As opposed to other surgical procedures which require incisions and sometimes the removal of bone or tissue, balloon sinuplasty is best described as uncomfortable. Patients are given a local anesthetic to reduce sensation in the area and patients typically feel some pressure or pinching. 

Common Side Effects of Balloon Sinuplasty

While the most common side effect is relief from sinusitis, some patients report headaches and nasal congestion in the days or weeks following surgery. This is caused by your sinuses swelling post operation, this will go down on its own. Bleeding is less common but may still occur. All side effects should clear up while following your doctor’s aftercare advice! 

What Does Aftercare For Balloon Sinuplasty Look Like?

Doctor’s will often prescribe an OTC pain reliever but your most useful tool in recovery is a nasal rinsing device such as the Complete Rinse. Use this every four hours to wash away any harmful bacteria! Otherwise, try to rest and relax. Read a book, write a book, book a trip, or just sit and think about existence. Now what? Breathe the free air! The recovery time for sinuplasty is very short. You can return to light activities such as walking after 24 hours, and to more strenuous activities after a week. 

Dr. Stephen Chandler is a practicing Otolaryngologist in Montgomery, Alabama and Clinical Director of Sandler Scientific, LLC, manufacturer of CompleteRinse®. To schedule a visit with Dr. Chandler call 334-834-7221 Learn more at Complete Rinse is available on Amazon and at