Inferior turbinectomy - outcome of various surgical modalities: a prospective study


  • Rajeev Reddy Department of ENT, KBN Institute of Medical Sciences, Kalaburagi, Karnataka, India



Nasal obstruction, Inferior turbinate hypertrophy, Turbinate reduction


Background: Inferior turbinate hypertrophy is one of the major causes of nasal airway obstruction. Medical treatment often produces insufficient improvement. In these circumstances, surgical reduction of inferior turbinate can be proposed. Many different techniques are currently available. The aim of our study is to prospectively evaluate the effectiveness of three techniques i.e., electrocautery, cryotherapy and radio frequency by comparing the response of patients to these surgical modalities of turbinate reduction.

Methods: A total of 90 patients presenting with nasal obstruction with or without allergic symptoms, fulfilling the inclusion and exclusion criteria, attending ENT OPD are included in the study. A prospective study was conducted on three groups of thirty patients with symptoms and signs of nasal obstruction associated with inferior turbinate hypertrophy of more than 3 months duration. Then the percentage of subjective improvement in nasal airway is used to assess treatment outcomes 1 week, 1, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months after surgery.  

Results: At the end of 12 months, 56.6% of patients treated with electrocautery and 56.6% of patients treated with cryotherapy showed 75% improvement in nasal obstruction whereas 59.99% of patients treated with radio frequency showed 100% improvement. No statistical difference in the amount of improvement in nasal obstruction was noted between the three treatment groups at the end of 12 months because of relatively small sample size.

Conclusions: On this basis it is evident that clinically radio frequency showed better subjective improvement in nasal obstruction when compared to cryotherapy and electrocautery.

Author Biography

Rajeev Reddy, Department of ENT, KBN Institute of Medical Sciences, Kalaburagi, Karnataka, India

associate professor , dept of ENT , KBN institute of medical sciences.


Harrill WC, Pillsbury HJC, McGuirt WF, Stewart MG. Radiofrequency turbinate reduction: a nose evaluation. Laryngoscope. 2007;117:1912-9.

Gray LP. Deviated nasal septum. Incidence and etiology. Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 1978;87:3-20.

Stewart MG, Witsell DL, Smith TL, Weaver EM, Yueh B, Hannley MT. Development and validation of nasal obstruction symptom evaluation (NOSE) scale. Otolarlyngol Head Neck Surg. 2004;130:157-63.

Coste A, Yona L, Blumen M, Louis B, Zerah F, Rugina M, et al. RF is a safe and effective treatment of TH. Laryngoscope. 2001;111:894-9.

Meridth GM. Surgical reduction of hypertrophied inferior turbinate: a comparison of electrofulguration and partial resection. Last Reconstr Surg. 1988;81:891-7.

Warwick-Brown NP, Marks NJ. Turbinate surgery: how effective is it? A long term assessment. ORL J otorhinolaryngol Relat Spec. 1987;49:314-20.

Smith TL, Corea AJ, Kuo J, Reinisch L. RF tissue ablation of inferior turbinates using a thermocouple feedback electrode. Laryngoscope. 1999;109:1760-5.

Freidman M, Janyer H, Lim J, Landsberg R, Caldarelli D. A safe, alternative technique for inferior turbinate reduction. Laryngoscope. 1999;109:1834-7.

Passalio D, Passali FM, Damiani V, Passàli GC, Bellussi L, et al. Treatment of ITH: a randomized clinical trial. Ann Otolo Rhinol Laryngol. 2003;112:683-8.

Dawes PJ. The early complications of inferior turbinectomy. Laryngol otol. 1987;101:1136-9.

Lin HC, Lin PW, Su CY, Chang HW. Radiofrequency for the treatment of allergic rhinitis refractory to medical therapy. Laryngoscope. 2003;113:673-8.






Original Research Articles