Recently, the technology for balloon dilatation of narrow sinus openings and passages has been introduced for the treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis. In this type of sinus surgery, the surgeon passes a soft, flexible wire into the sinus, and then threads the balloon-tipped catheter (BTC) over the wire. This BTC, which closely resembles similar devices used for blocked heart vessels, is then rapidly inflated to open the sinuses and help treat rhinosinusitis.

Published reports on this technology are few. Thus, the optimal role for BTC in the sinuses is still unclear.

It should be emphasized that balloon catheter dilatation is not the appropriate type of sinus surgery for most patients—this is not a solution for all sinus and nasal conditions.