Stewart AE, Vaughan WC.
California Sinus Centers, 3351 El Camino Real, Suite 200, Atherton, CA 94027, USA.


The first US Food and Drug Administration-approved dilating balloon catheter system for obstructed paranasal sinus drainage pathways was introduced in September 2005.

It was discussed as an alternative treatment option for traditional endoscopic sinus surgery for those suffering from chronic rhinosinusitis.

Widespread patient interest has ensued, although controversy regarding application of this device continues.

Many otolaryngologists have been trained to use the device, and more than 88,000 patients have had surgery using this device.

Like similar dilating catheters used in other specialties to relieve obstruction, it is a minimally invasive tool for mucosal-sparing dilation of sinus ostia or sinus outflow tracts.

Although studies have been completed that demonstrate feasibility, safety, and long-term patency of dilated sinuses, the evolving indications for its use remain controversial.

Referring physicians and patients can expect a range of opinions on the role of these devices in the treatment of rhinosinusitis for the foreseeable future.