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Dr. Edgar Lueg, MD, FACS, FRCSC
Ventura's only Board-Certified Head & Neck Surgeon
with Advanced Fellowship Training

What are the Pros and Cons of Having Balloon Sinuplasty in the Doctor’s Office Versus in an Operating Room?

I am very often asked this question by patients especially when their Out of Pocket Payment may be more or less in one or the other. Some of this relates to things specific to each individual patient and their insurance, ENT Doctor’s experience, etc but the following are generally a good guideline to the Pros and Cons of having your procedure in your Doctor’s Office versus in an Operating Room.

Pros of In Office Balloon Sinuplasty:

This is probably the easiest to answer since there are so many advantages to having your Balloon Sinuplasty Procedure in your ENT Doctor’s Office.

  1. No going to the Hospital or Surgery Center. This is probably one of the biggest advantages. No pre-operative blood testing or EKG, medical doctor’s clearance, no going to or calling the hospital or surgery center to register and having the procedure in the comfort of your own doctor’s office.
  2. No General Anesthesia or having someone drop you off and pick you up. No nausea or wooziness after the procedure.
  3. Generally much lower patient financial responsibility or "Out of Pocket" since overall procedure is less expensive when higher facility costs are not required.
  4. Less Invasive with no cutting compared to traditional sinus surgery under anesthesia.
  5. Generally less reported post-procedure pain, length of pain, and need for stronger pain killers.
  6. Return to work much more quickly often that afternoon or the next day.
  7. Most cases can be done with only anesthetic spray in the nose without any needle injections or general anesthesia.
  8. Very high patient satisfaction with the office experience and the majority of patients would recommend it to family and friends after having undergone the procedure in the office.

Pros of Operating Room Balloon Sinuplasty:

  1. Can do other procedures that require cutting tissue and more bleeding at the same time like Septoplasty, Turbinoplasty, Turbinoplasty, or Polypectomies which cannot be done in the Office setting generally.

Cons of In Office Balloon Sinuplasty:

  1. A very small minority of very anxious patients actually prefer to be under General Anesthesia and do not tolerate being awake.

Cons of Operating Room Balloon Sinuplasty:

  1. Potential for postoperative infections from some difficult to treat bacteria that are generally not found in a doctor’s office.

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