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Clinical Challenges
Nov 2012

Balloon Dilation of the Sinuses

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Division of Rhinology and Endoscopic Skull Base Surgery, Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2012;138(11):1077-1079. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2013.603

Hypothesis: Balloon dilation procedures are comparable in clinical efficacy to traditional functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) techniques involving tissue removal.

Having demonstrated clinical efficacy in cardiology, urology, and ophthalmology, balloon catheters were adapted for the paranasal sinuses in the early 2000s, highlighted by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of the first Acclarent balloon catheter device in 2005 (Acclarent Inc). In the ensuing years, multiple devices have been developed and refined for rhinologic indications, and balloon dilation of the paranasal sinuses has been the subject of often passionate discourse over its role as a treatment option for patients with chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). In contradistinction to traditional models of sinus surgery based on excision of inflamed, obstructive tissue, the balloon dilation model of surgical treatment is based on tissue displacement and ostial dilation.