Coblation Turbinate Reduction
What is a COBLATION® Turbinate Reduction?
Located on the inside of the nose just upstream from the flare of the nostrils, the nasal turbinates are three pairs of long, thin bones and associated cartilage. The turbinates are lined with mucosal tissue that can expand or contract to help adjust the temperature, the moistness and the velocity of incoming air as we inhale.
This term means that the either the tissue lining the turbinates is swollen, or the bones themselves are enlarged enough to cause obstruction of the nasal airways.
In some people, the turbinates or their underlying structure (the nasal chonchae) are enlarged from birth. For many others, the turbinates become swollen because of allergy, bacterial or viral infection, exposure to environmental irritants like dust or chemicals, or altered air flow due to deviation elsewhere in the nasal airway.
Dr. Brodner will ask questions about your medical history and conduct a physical exam that can include inspecting the airway with an endoscopic camera inserted through the nostril.
If the cause of the hypertrophy is infection, allergy or environmental irritant, your doctor may recommend antibiotic for a bacterial infection, nasal decongestants or steroids to help reduce swelling, and a waiting period to see if the condition begins to improve. In persistent or chronic cases, your ENT specialist might recommend surgery to reduce the obstruction.
There are several different approaches available, depending on the Dr. Brodner’s assessment of the problem. These include electrocauterization, radiofrequency reduction, microdebrider resection, partial resection and COBLATION.
The sensation of stuffy nose, often described in medical terms as nasal obstruction, can have a variety of causes, from the temporary, such as congestion due to a cold or allergies, to more persistent obstruction caused by swelling of the turbinates, or by a malformation of the airway.
When they become enlarged, the turbinates, particularly the lowest, or inferior turbinate, can block nasal airflow.
The septum is a narrow structure of cartilage and bone, lined with mucosal tissue like the turbinates, that forms the wall between the right and left nasal airways. The septum can be displaced to one side from birth, or because of injury. The result is that one nasal passage is narrower than the other, which causes obstruction and can lead to swollen turbinates due to the imbalance in air flow.
Rhinitis is the medical term for inflammation and swelling of the nasal passages. One cause of rhinitis is allergic reaction to inhaled substances, for example, dust, pollen or pet dander. In some cases, an allergy to food can cause swollen airways.
Vasomotor rhinitis is swelling of the airway that is not caused by allergy. It can be triggered by exposure to environmental irritants, dry air, medications, or even intense emotion.
The nasal valve is the section of the airway located just beyond the nostrils. If the fleshy tunnels that form the airway are narrow or overly flexible, they can collapse inward as you inhale. Sometimes visible from the outside, nasal valve collapse restricts the flow of air, causing the stuffy nose sensation.
Turbinate Reduction Treatment: What to Expect
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. COBLATION technology combines low-temperature radio frequency 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.