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Radiofrequency of turbinates

The turbinates are the “turbines” of the nose. They are located inside the nostrils and have the function of filtering and modifying the temperature and humidity of the air we breathe, so that it reaches the lungs properly. They are structures rich in blood vessels and nerve endings, so they increase or decrease in size, depending on the circumstances.

Due to allergies, hormonal changes and other factors, the turbinates can become enlarged and make it difficult for air to pass through the nose. In these cases, radiofrequency of the turbinates is very useful.

wHAT IS RADIOFREQUENCY?

It is a high frequency and low temperature energy, which allows to cut, coagulate or remove tissues of the human body, through electrodes.

hOW IS THE TECHNIQUE PERFORMED?

  • Under local anesthesia.
  • Generally under endoscopic vision (sometimes “with the naked eye”) and without the need to open the nose externally.
  • Electrodes are introduced into the turbinates and a small shock is given to reduce tissue inflammation.

It usually lasts a few minutes and the patient goes home without the need for nasal packing (except in specific cases).

The patient leaves the consultation room breathing better, although after a few hours, due to the “damage” that has been caused to the tissues, they swell a little (only the inside of the nose), but the turbinates gradually decrease in size.

POSTOPERATIVE CARE

  • Nasal washes with saline solutions.
  • Local antibiotic ointment, which helps to loosen the crusts that are usually produced when the turbinates heal.
  • 1 or 2 follow-up visits to remove crusts.

COMPLICATIONS

Eventual bleeding, which may require nasal packing. However, as the tissues are coagulated at the same time, it is infrequent.

BENEFITS

  • Increased space in the nostrils, so the patient breathes better.
  • It can reduce snoring and improve sleep apnea.
  • It is a quick technique and only with local anesthesia. It does not require hospitalization.
  • It can be repeated if necessary.