Treatment Options

Balloon Sinuplasty for Treatment of Chronic Sinusitis

Possible Harm/No Value

Balloon sinuplasty is being offered as an alternative to endoscopic sinus surgery for individuals with chronic sinusitis. The procedure is performed under anesthesia. A guide wire equipped with a balloon is inserted into the nostrils and up to the blockage. Once the balloon is placed, it is inflated approximately a quarter of an inch. The balloon is then deflated and removed. The procedure provides a way to dilate the sinus cavities, which may help restore sinus drainage.

Things to Consider

  • Approximately 32 million individuals living in the United States are affected annually with chronic sinusitis.
  • Balloon sinuplasty is being proposed to treat approximately 5 to 10 percent of those who have exhausted less aggressive treatment options.


Possible Harm/No Value

Will I live longer if I have a balloon sinuplasty?

Scientific evidence is not available to show if a balloon sinuplasty may cause you to live longer.

Will having a balloon sinuplasty improve my quality of life?

Long-term scientific evidence is not available to show whether a balloon sinuplasty improves your quality of life.


Possible Harm/No Value

More information, including data from a large number of individuals who have had the procedure and have had long-term follow-up, is needed to determine the safety of a balloon sinuplasty.


Possible Harm/No Value

At this time there are no comparative studies of balloon sinuplasty to current surgical (e.g., cleaning and draining the sinuses, functional endoscopic sinus surgery) or medical treatments (e.g., steroid nasal sprays, antibiotics if an infection present) for chronic sinusitis. Therefore, the effectiveness of a balloon sinuplasty is not known.


Possible Harm/No Value

The cost of a balloon sinuplasty may range from $5,000 to- $10,000 or more.

The cost may or may not be covered by your health benefits plan.


The following are off-site links off-site link :

Cedars-Sinai Health System. (2014). Balloon Sinuplasty. Retreived March 17, 2014 from

Johns Hopkins Sinus Center. (2008). Sinuplasty. Retrieved March 17, 2014 from

National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. (2008,September). Balloon catheter dilation of paranasal sinus ostia for chronic sinusitis. Retrieved March 4, 2013 from

National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. (2008,September). Relieving chronic sinusitis using an inflatable balloon. Retrieved March 4, 2013 from

WebMD. (2014). What causes sinus problems? Retrieved March 17, 2014 from

Next Review Date


This document has been classified as public information.

Table of Findings

results:  possible harm / no value

safety:  possible harm / no value

comparison:  possible harm / no value

cost: possible harm / no value

total: possible harm / no value



Page modified:March 31, 2014