REDUCTION OF THE HYPERTROPHIED INFERIOR TURBINATE. A COMPARISON OF THREE TECHNIQUES
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Persistent hypertrophy of the inferior turbinate is one of the most com mon causes of nasal obstruction. There is no general agreement among rhlnologists about the best operation to relieve nasal obstruction in cases of inferior turbinate hypertrophy. Three techniques were used for reduc tion of hypertrophied inferior turbinate in patients refractory to medical treatment. Group 1 included 20 patients treated by radiofrequency ener gy (R.F). for turbinate reduction, group II included 25 patients treated by submucous diathermy ISMD) of inferior turbinate and group III included 24 patients treated by submucous resection SMR of the inferior bony tarbinate. The severity of the pre- and postoperative nasal obstruction was evaluated by visual analogue scale (VASI and acoustic rhinometry. There was a significant improvement of severity of nasal obstruction in patients treated by RF energy after 1 week. At the completion of the study at 6 months significant improvement was seen in 90% of patients. In group II the improvement of mean nasal obstruction reached a significant value at 8 weeks and in group III the severity of nasal obstruction improved signif icantly at 4 weeks follow up. Although our results confirmed that SMR of the inferior turbinate bone is an effective method of shrinkage of the infe rior turbinate, the complications of a relatively more bleeding during the operation, mild postoperative bleeding, postoperative discomfort and mild to moderate crusting lead us to recommend RF ablation of the inferior tur binate. Moreover the patient satisfaction and lack of morbidity ofRF ener gy tissue ablation of the inferior turbinate would make this method easy to repeat for recurrent nasal obstruction and makes it a good alternative to other traditional methods.