Coblation – Turbinoplasty

Coblation – Turbinoplasty


General overview of the service:

Nasal obstruction is often caused by the enlargement of the inferior turbinate structures. Turbinates are protruding structures within the nasal cavity that warm air as it passes through the nose. Hairs growing on these structures also trap any dust and particles in the air being inhaled. One of the three turbinate structures (superior, middle and inferior turbinate), the inferior turbinates sometimes get enlarged and obstruct the free flow of air into and out of the nose. This causes discomfort, snoring and a general feeling of “stuffiness” in patients. The most effective form of treatment of this condition today involves a turbinoplasty procedure known as coblation turbinoplasty.

How the service is done:

Coblation turbinoplasty is an ENT turbinate reduction that involves the shrinkage of the enlarged turbinates in order to clear the passageway of the nose. Coblation turbinate reduction utilizes a sophisticated radio wave device (more advanced than laser) to cauterize the affected turbinates and cause them to shrink. Performed as an outpatient procedure, coblation turbinoplasty is done under local anesthetic and results in minimal bleeding and often favorable outcomes post-op. The procedure is performed by inserting the coblation probe into the affected turbinate, then activating the device, which causes the tissue to shrink immediately. This is repeated to get maximal results. In many cases the patient can go home only one hour after the operation.

What methods are used:

When you come in, these are the steps you will follow:

  • First, you will discuss the procedure with the surgeon. He will explain to you what it entails, and what you may expect after the procedure.
  • You then need to sign a surgical consent form for the procedure.
  • After this, the nurse practitioner will examine you and interview you to find out if you are allergic to any medications and so on. They will also instruct you on what you need to do to prepare for the procedure.
  • On the day of the procedure you will be given a local anesthesia to numb the area being operated.
  • The surgeon will then use the coblation probe to shrink your turbinates. This usually takes only a couple of minutes.
  • Once complete, they will give you a few minutes to recover, prescribe for you some painkillers and discharge you.

Are there any side-effects:

Side effects from coblation turbinoplasty include:

  • Turbinoplasty complications such as infection, inflammation and swelling,
  • The mucosal surface of the turbinates may be compromised resulting in poor conditioning of air flowing through the nose
  • If the turbinates shrink too much, this will result in less turbulent air, which will then produce a sense of blockage even if the cavity is clear.
  • Some crusting and dryness of the nose may occur for the first few weeks but this resolves after some time.

Follow-up treatments or next steps:

The prognosis for this procedure is usually favorable and most patients go on to have a complication-free turbinoplasty recovery. Owing to the minimally invasive nature of the procedure, there is little to no bleeding, hence little wound management is required. The surgeon may schedule you for a follow up appointment to examine you and determine if the procedure was indeed successful in clearing your nasal airway.

Contact our office:

To find out more about our coblation turbinoplasty service, visit L.A. Sinus & Allergy Specialists offices located at 1701 E Cesar Chavez Ave Suite 560, Los Angeles, CA 90033-2425, or book an appointment by calling (323) 226-0022 today.