Non-surgical reduction of nasal turbinates can improve breathing
Nasal coblation (also referred to as submucosal coblation or turbinate reduction) is a minimally invasive treatment for hypertrophic (swollen) turbinates. Turbinates are long, thin bones covered in thin membranes (soft tissue) lining both sides of the inside of your nasal passages. Turbinates’ main function is to warm and humidify the air that we breathe. Sometimes the bones or the membranes become swollen, causing symptoms such as nasal congestion, chronic runny nose, and obstructive sleep apnea (snoring).
The goal of nasal ablation is to shrink the turbinates so that air passes more easily through the nasal passages.
How nasal coblation works to improve airflow
Coblation involves using a long thin probe to deliver radiofrequency (heat) energy to the swollen turbinates. Once the turbinates are treated, scar tissue forms and causes the turbinates to shrink.
Your doctor will use local anesthesia (numbing of the area) to perform the procedure, which takes only 10 to 20 minutes. The procedure is considered minimally invasive because it causes minimal damage to the surrounding tissue and there is very little recovery time. Most patients can breathe more easily within a few days, if not a few weeks.
As with any procedure there are risks, most of which are temporary and treatable. Nasal coblation is not a cure for allergies or nasal-related allergy problems and it is generally recommended only after trying other treatment approaches, such as medication and lifestyle changes.