Rima DeFatta, MD
Rima DeFatta, MD





Sinusitis—Finding Relief

Rima DeFatta, MD
DeFatta ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery

Sinusitis is one of the most common chronic health problems in the U.S., afflicting an estimated 37 million Americans each year. Patients suffer from facial pain and pressure, headaches, congestion, nasal discharge and fatigue, among other symptoms. These symptoms often have a significant effect on patients’ physical, functional and emotional quality of life.

Sinusitis is typically treated first with medication. However, at least 20% of patients do not respond adequately to medical therapy including antibiotics, allergy control and topical nasal steroids. In these cases, sinus surgery is often the next step towards finding relief. Conventional sinus surgery such as Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS) requires bone and tissue removal in order to open blocked sinus passageways.

An innovative complement to FESS for chronic sinusitis sufferers was introduced approximately 8 years ago. This technology, called balloon sinuplasty, is similar to how angioplasty uses balloons to open blocked arteries. Balloon sinuplasty is an FDA-cleared system which utilizes small, flexible balloon catheters that are placed through the nose into the blocked sinus passageways.

The balloon is then inflated to gently restructure and open the sinus passageway to restore normal sinus drainage. This approach preserves the natural structure of the sinuses which minimizes the risk of scarring. This technology has also allowed effective treatment for children with chronic sinusitis problems without the increased associated risk of conventional, tissue-cutting surgery.

How well does it work?

An international, multi-center study, published in the prestigious journal, Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, confirmed that at 24 weeks, one year and two year time points, the balloon sinuplasty instruments are safe and effective for opening blocked sinuses.

Since the beginning of 2011, balloon sinuplasty technology was elevated to a whole new level: an in-office procedure without the need for general anesthesia! This minimally invasive office procedure has literally changed the climate for chronic sinusitis patients because it typically allows patients to return to normal activity within 48 hours, as opposed to the 7–10 day recovery period after FESS. Since their introduction, balloon sinuplasty devices have been used in more than 375,000 procedures overall, including more than 35,000 in-office procedures.

The CLEAR study reported

• 91.6% functional patency rate at one-year; 70 patients (217 sinuses)
• No serious adverse events at two-years; 65 patients (195 sinuses)
• Symptom improvement for 85% of patients across the two-year
  post surgery period

What are potential benefits of in-office balloon sinuplasty?

  • Local Anesthesia: Balloon sinuplasty, in-office, could be an option for patients who decline or are not candidates for general anesthesia.
  • Faster Recovery: Most patients who undergo the in-office procedure can return to normal activities and work within two days.
  • Comfortable Surroundings: Experience the procedure in the comfort of your physician’s office and have a spouse or friend present if you so choose.
  • High Patient Satisfaction: The majority of patients who had balloon sinuplasty in-office would recommend the procedure to family and friends.
  • Potential for Significant Cost Savings: Some eligible patients may have lower out-of-pocket costs if the procedure is performed in a lower cost of care setting, such as a physician’s office.

How do I know if this procedure might be right for me?

OakLeaf Medical Network’s DeFatta ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery physicians now offer balloon sinuplasty in their clinic as a possible alternative to conventional sinus surgery in the operating room.
If you suffer from sinusitis, have either had a sinus infection for more than 12 weeks or if you experience four or more sinus infections each year, please contact our office if you are interested in an appointment.


Dr. DeFatta – DeFatta ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery
For information or to schedule an appointment:
715-828-2368  |  www.defattaent.com
Dr. DeFatta sees patients in Altoona, Baldwin, Durand, Hayward, Ladysmith, Neillsville and Stanley.