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Balloon Sinuplasty: When Medication Isn't Enough

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When medication fails to bring relief to people with chronic sinusitis, the alternative to open the flow of mucus is usually surgery. The traditional type calls for removing bone and tissue to clear sinuses. But there’s also the option of balloon sinuplasty. It’s similar to angioplasty used to open arteries. Dr. Kenny Iloabachie talked about the procedure with KERA’s Sam Baker in this edition of Vital Signs.

What is Chronic Sinusitis?

Chronic sinusitis is a common condition in which the cavities around nasal passages (sinuses) become inflamed and swollen. Also known as chronic rhinosinusitis, this condition interferes with drainage and causes mucus to build up.

Chronic sinusitis may be caused by an infection, but it can also be caused by growths in the sinuses (nasal polyps) or by a deviated nasal septum. Chronic sinusitis most commonly affects young and middle-aged adults, but it also can affect children.

- webmd.com

Explanation of balloon sinuplasty:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvNSdyEwljk

Risk Factors for Chronic or Recurrent Sinusitis (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/chronic-sinusitis/DS00232/DSECTION=risk-factors)

Symptoms of Sinusitis (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/chronic-sinusitis/DS00232/DSECTION=symptoms)

Treatments to relieve symptoms (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/chronic-sinusitis/DS00232/DSECTION=treatments-and-drugs)

Sam Baker is KERA's senior editor and local host for Morning Edition. The native of Beaumont, Texas, also edits and produces radio commentaries and Vital Signs, a series that's part of the station's Breakthroughs initiative. He also was the longtime host of KERA 13’s Emmy Award-winning public affairs program On the Record. He also won an Emmy in 2008 for KERA’s Sharing the Power: A Voter’s Voice Special, and has earned honors from the Associated Press and the Public Radio News Directors Inc.