Ear nose throat specialist clinic

February 19, 2009

Radiofrequency Treatment Improves Nasal Breathing

The radiofrequency procedure is a safe, fast and effective way to relieve nasal obstruction due to enlarged turbinates. It is performed in our office under local anesthesia, and typically takes less than 30 minutes. The radiofrequency energy is delivered under the surface layer of the turbinates, sparing the mucosa or membrane. The treated tissue is heated just enough to create an area of coagulation. This avoids annoying crusting and bleeding after the procedure and nasal packing is not required. Over the next three to six weeks, patients usually start to experience improved nasal breathing. Pain medication is rarely needed. After a short period of observation, patients can drive home, or resume normal activities.

To date, there have been no significant complications reported. No nasal packing is required, and most patients do not require pain medication. Some patients experience a stuffy nose for up to one week after the procedure. Nasal crusting can occur, which is usually relieved by a saline nasal spray. The turbinates can slowly enlarge after the procedure, especially if there are nasal allergies or infections. Occasionally, a second procedure is needed after 3 months if nasal blockage returns.

The goal of radiofrequency turbinate reduction is to improve breathing through the nose in an office setting with minimal risk to the patient. It is not cosmetic surgery and is covered by most insurance plans. If you have any questions about this procedure, we invite you to make an appointment for an evaluation to determine whether you are a candidate.

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