Hostname: page-component-7dc689bd49-g7gpc Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-03-20T09:01:20.945Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

Efficacy of inferior turbinate coblation for treatment of nasal obstruction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 June 2008

S E J Farmer*
Common Cold Centre, Cardiff School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, UK
S M Quine
Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, Wales, UK
R Eccles
Common Cold Centre, Cardiff School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, Wales, UK
Address for correspondence: Miss Sarah Farmer, ENT Specialist Registrar, Common Cold Centre, Cardiff School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Museum Avenue, Cardiff CF10 3US, Wales, UK. Fax: 029 20 874093 E-mail:



To determine the efficacy of inferior turbinate coblation for the treatment of nasal obstruction.


Twenty patients awaiting submucosal diathermy to the inferior turbinates were recruited into the study. All underwent inferior turbinate coblation. Pre-operative and post-operative nasal function was investigated using posterior rhinomanometry and subjective symptom scales.


There was no significant increase in nasal conductance two weeks after inferior turbinate coblation (p = 0.159). However, three months after inferior turbinate coblation, median nasal conductance had increased significantly, from 203 to 324 cm3/s (p = 0.004). The median increase in nasal conductance was 73 cm3/s or 43.5 per cent. Post-operative visual analogue patients' reported post-operative visual analogue scales scores for nasal obstruction decreased significantly, both two weeks (p = 0.006) and three months after inferior turbinate coblation (p = 0.001) when compared to Pre-operative values. There was no change in the reported severity of rhinorrhoea, nasal itching or sneezing. There was a significant relationship (ρ = −0.57, p = 0.014) between pre-operative nasal conductance and change in nasal conductance after inferior turbinate coblation.


This study confirms the short-term efficacy of inferior turbinate coblation for the treatment of nasal obstruction. The benefit was greatest in patients with lower pre-operative nasal conductance. Objective measures of nasal obstruction may be important when selecting patients for inferior turbinate coblation.

Main Articles
Copyright © JLO (1984) Limited 2008

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Presented as a poster at the British Rhinology Society 6th Annual Meeting, 25th May 2007, London, England, and in full at the Welsh Otorhinolaryngological Association Meeting, 26th October 2007, Swansea, Wales, UK.


1 ArthroCare Corporation. 2005 [1 October 2007]Google Scholar
2 Back, LJ, Hytonen, ML, Malmberg, HO, Ylikoski, JS. Submucosal bipolar radiofrequency thermal ablation of inferior turbinates: a long-term follow-up with subjective and objective assessment. Laryngoscope 2002;112:1806–12Google ScholarPubMed
3 Bhattacharyya, N, Kepnes, LJ. Clinical effectiveness of coblation inferior turbinate reduction. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2003;129:365–71CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
4 Atef, A, Mosleh, M, El Bosraty, H, Abd El Fatah, G, Fathi, A. Bipolar radiofrequency volumetric tissue reduction of inferior turbinate: does the number of treatment sessions influence the final outcome? Am J Rhinol 2006;20:2531Google ScholarPubMed
5 Quine, SM, Eccles, R. Nasal resistance from the laboratory to the clinic. Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1999;7:20–5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
6 Eccles, R. Evaluation of the nasal airway and nasal challenge. In: Kerr, AG, ed. Scott-Brown's Otolaryngology, 6th edn. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann, 1997; 4/4/1–15Google Scholar
7 Cottle, M. Concepts of nasal physiology as related to corrective nasal surgery. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1960;72:1120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
8 Quine, SM, Aitken, PA, Eccles, R. Effect of submucosal diathermy to the inferior turbinates on unilateral and total nasal airflow in patients with rhinitis. Acta Otolaryngol 1999;119:911–15Google ScholarPubMed
9 Panagou, PS, Loukides, S, Tsipra, S, Syrigou, K, Anastasakis, C, Kalogeropoulos, N. Evaluation of nasal patency: comparison of patient and clinician assessments with rhinomanometry. Acta Otolaryngol 1999;118:847–51Google Scholar
10 Eccles, R. Nasal airflow in health and disease. Acta Otolaryngol 2000;120:580–95CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
11 Rhee, CS, Kim, DY, Won, TB, Lee, HJ, Park, SW, Kwon, TY et al. Changes of nasal function after temperature-controlled radiofrequency tissue volume reduction for the turbinate. Laryngoscope 2001;111:153–8CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
12 Aljafri, AM, Kingsnorth, A, eds. Fundamentals of Surgical Practice. London: Greenwich Medical Media, 1998Google Scholar
13 Talaat, M, El-Sabawy, E, Baky, FA, Raheem, AA. Submucous diathermy of the inferior turbinates in chronic hypertrophic rhinitis. J Laryngol Otol 1987;101:452–60CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed