by EBSCO Medical Review Board


Balloon sinuplasty is surgery to make the sinus pathway larger.

Reasons for Procedure

This surgery is done to make it easier for fluids to drain out of the sinuses. It is done in people with chronic sinusitis that have not been helped by other treatments.

Possible Complications

Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:

  • Reaction to anesthesia
  • Infection
  • Tissue damage
  • Eyesight problems

Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to manage things that may raise the risk of problems, such as:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking

What to Expect

Prior to Procedure

Leading up to your surgery:

  • Arrange for a ride to and from the hospital.
  • Talk to your doctor about the medicines, herbs, and supplements that you take. You may be asked to stop taking some up to one week before surgery.
  • Do not eat or drink after midnight the night before surgery.

Your doctor will refer to tests that were already done. This may include a CT scan of sinuses.


Your doctor may choose:

  • General anesthesia—you will be asleep
  • Local anesthesia—your nose will be numbed

Description of the Procedure

The doctor will use a small tube with a balloon tip. The tube will be passed into the nose and up to the sinus. The balloon will be opened in the sinus to press open the pathway. Salt water will be sprayed into the sinus to flush it out. The tube and balloon will be removed. Bandages may be taped under the nose to catch drainage.

How Long Will It Take?

1 hour

Will It Hurt?

Anesthesia will prevent pain during surgery. You may have a headache or light pressure from swelling for 1 to 2 days. Medicine and home care can help ease discomfort.

Post-procedure Care

At the Care Center

Staff may give pain medicine.

At Home

It will take about one week to fully heal. Many may return to normal activity in 1 to 2 days.

Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor if you are not feeling better or you have:

  • Signs of infection, such as fever and chills
  • Lightheadedness
  • Pain that does not get better with medicine
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Bleeding or discharge that does not stop
  • Severe headache with or without a stiff neck
  • Bruising or swelling around the eyes
  • Eyesight changes

If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.


ENThealth—American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery 

Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians 


Canadian Society of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery 

Health Canada 


Ah-See KL, MacKenzie J, et al. Management of chronic rhinosinusitis. BMJ. 2012 Oct 30;345:e7054.

Balloon sinuplasty. Cedars Sinai website. Available at: Accessed March 9, 2020.

Balloon sinuplasty. ENT & Allergy Specialists website. Available at: Accessed March 9, 2020.

Chronic rhinosinusitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: . Updated August 14, 2019. Accessed March 9, 2020.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Daniel Ostrovsky, MD
  • Review Date: 05/2020
  • Update Date: 06/19/2020