Turbinate reduction treatment: what to expect
Have you been to see a specialist about nasal congestion, and received a diagnosis of swollen (also known as hypertrophic) nasal turbinates? Is the doctor recommending a turbinate reduction procedure? One of the most advanced new surgical approaches, COBLATION◊ turbinate reduction, is being offered as a doctor's office procedure, meaning less down time, no general anesthesia, and lower cost than with a hospital stay.
Turbinate reduction using COBLATION
COBLATION technology combines low-temperature radiofrequency energy with saline to create a plasma field, which is contained at the tip of the device; it dissolves tissues at the molecular level, resulting in a precise dissection of targeted tissue. See more information on COBLATION technology here.*
Preparing for the procedure
Several days in advance of your turbinate reduction procedure, you should expect to receive detailed instructions from your doctor's staff. If getting a procedure in the office, little preparation will be required. If your doctor recommends more than a turbinate reduction such as a septoplasty as well, surgery under general anesthesia may be required. With a surgery, you'll be told to stop eating and drinking, usually the night before the procedure. You'll be asked to provide pertinent details of your medical history, which helps to establish if you need a blood workup or other tests before the procedure.
Day of procedure
If an office procedure is required, you will be awake for the whole procedure but will be unable to feel pain due to the use of local anesthetic. If a surgery is required, the staff will check your weight, blood pressure, temperature and other vital signs on arrival. Often you'll be asked to remove contact lenses, glasses, jewelry, dentures, or hearing aids before going into the operating room. If your procedure requires general anesthesia, you'll receive that by injection or inhalation, and once you are fully unconscious the procedure will begin.
Once the procedure is complete, the staff will move you to a recovery area where your vital signs will be verified, and you'll observed for any complications while the anesthetic agent wears off.
* Leong, S.C., et al., "COBLATION inferior turbinate reduction: a long-term follow-up with subjective and objective assessment", Rhinology, Vol 48 No 1:108-12 March, 2010 - accessed August 8, 2017