Medtronic has launched a manually controlled balloon catheter system, NuVent Eustachian tube dilation balloon, to treat chronic, obstructive eustachian tube dysfunction.

Approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the single-use device is designed to help surgeons provide treatment in an office or outpatient setting.

A flexible balloon section allows customised placement based on patient anatomy.

The device’s balloon handpiece shape also enables easy entry and access to the patient’s eustachian tube through the nasal opening, with the support of endoscopic guidance.

Medtronic Neuroscience Portfolio, ear, nose and throat (ENT) business president Vince Racano said: “As office-based procedures for ENT conditions increase, we look forward to introducing more innovative technologies designed specifically for this setting.

“The NuVent balloon is another important product within this expanding portfolio.”

According to the company, approximately 4.6% of adults in the US experience eustachian tube dysfunction.

This condition occurs when the tube that connects the back of the nose to the middle ear cannot open or close properly.

Subsequently, the eustachian tube fails to perform its primary functions, which are protecting the middle ear from pathogens, balancing air pressure on both sides of the eardrum and helping drain secretions from the middle ear cleft.

Eustachian tube dysfunction can cause hearing difficulty, pain and/or a feeling of fullness in the ears.

Patients may also suffer damage to the middle ear and eardrum if the condition is not treated.

Ohio Sinus Institute head Dr Boris Karanfilov said: “Patients who suffer from eustachian tube dysfunction often experience pain, pressure and hearing difficulties, so it’s important to address their illness quickly.

“Balloon dilation restores proper eustachian tube function and reduces these symptoms, plus the ability to perform the procedure in the office makes it both convenient and efficient.”

Recently, Medtronic received FDA approval for its Freezor and Freezor Xtra Cardiac Cryoablation Focal Catheters to treat paediatric Atrioventricular Nodal Reentrant Tachycardia.