Inferior Turbinate Reduction

turbinates

The inferior turbinates

are humidifiers in the nose that may become excessively swollen in some people.  This may be the result of allergic rhinitis or vasomotor rhinitis.  The swelling may cause symptoms of nasal obstruction, congestion and facial pressure.  Initially, a nasal steroid spray is tried and is effective in controlling symptoms in most patients.  For those patients that fail to respond, a turbinate reduction procedure may be offered.  This may be performed either in clinic or the operating room depending on patient preference.

Turbinate coblation is a convenient, effective method of reducing the size of the affected turbinates and unclogging the nasal passages with minimal discomfort. While there are other ways to perform turbinate reduction, turbinate coblation is minimally invasive and is performed very quickly with almost no resulting downtime for the patient. Most turbinate coblation procedures are performed right in the doctor’s office.

During a turbinate coblation, a local anesthetic is applied to the nose to minimize any discomfort and a probe is inserted into the affected turbinate. The probe delivers coblation radiofrequency energy to shrink and remove tissue from the inside of the turbinate while preserving the surface layer.  Once healed, this prevents the turbinate from being able to swell as much thereby relieving nasal obstruction and congestion while still maintaining function.  The majority of patients will experience a significant relief of their symptoms.  The underlying cause does still need to be addressed to prevent recurrence.  This may be as simple as using nasal steroid spray or may involve allergy testing and treatment.

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