Radiofrequency, a minimal risk technique

Radiofrequency in the nostrils is generally used for the reduction of the volume of the inferior turbinates. Numerous vascular structures are located inside the inferior turbinates. When the turbinates are increased in size, they compromise the passage of air through the nostrils, with the patient experiencing obstruction at the level of the nostrils. This is more noticeable when the patient is lying down due to the difficulty in emptying the turbinate in the “absence” of gravity.

What does radiofrequency nasal surgery consist of?

Radiofrequency turbinate surgery consists of applying, after topical anesthesia and followed by local anesthesia, a high frequency electric current inside the inferior turbinate by means of a thin metallic electrode. This procedure lasts less than 30 seconds, it is not painful and we obtain as a response a fibrosis in its interior which will lead to a decrease in its volume after a few days.

What are the advantages of this technique compared to others?

There are numerous advantages of radiofrequency over previous techniques. The techniques prior to radiofrequency cause excessive bleeding during its execution, which makes it essential to carry them out under general anesthesia and orotracheal intubation; in addition to the obligation for the patient to wear a nasal packing for at least the first 48 hours after the procedure.

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What are the risks involved in this procedure?

The risk of post-intervention bleeding is very low, nasal packing is not necessary and the respiratory improvement is noticeable after the first 48 hours.

Is the procedure painful? What kind of discomfort will you feel during the surgery?

The nasal topical anesthesia, which is the first step of the intervention, facilitates the absolute absence of pain when we apply the “second” anesthesia, which is now injected inside the turbinate. The ENT specialist then inserts the thin metal electrode into the head of the turbinate and we apply the high frequency current.

The procedure is painless even though tactile sensations may be felt during the procedure.

What kind of care should the patient follow after the operation?

In the days following the operation we should apply saline solution to the nostrils and occasionally we will indicate the use of some nasal ointment to moisten the nostrils.

The final result, the clear improvement in nasal breathing, will occur after about two weeks.