Inferior turbinectomy versus submucosal diathermy for inferior turbinate hypertrophy

Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2000 Nov;109(11):1040-5. doi: 10.1177/000348940010901109.


In order to compare and evaluate bilateral inferior turbinectomy (BIT) and submucosal diathermy (SMD), we retrospectively examined these two well-known techniques for treatment of nasal obstruction due to bilateral congestion of the inferior turbinates. One hundred patients with bilateral nasal obstruction were divided into 4 groups according to their nasal airflow patency. Forty-nine patients underwent BIT, and 51 patients underwent SMD. All 100 patients were followed for 2 months after surgery. Patients with difficult postoperative courses were followed up to 1 year after surgery, in order to decide on the necessity of operative revision. Postoperative improvement in nasal breathing after BIT was reported for 96% of patients 2 weeks after surgery, and for 88% 2 months after surgery. Only 1 BIT patient had to undergo revision operation. Diathermy showed good results in 78% of cases 2 weeks after surgery. The efficacy of the procedure was reduced to 76% 2 months after surgery. Twenty percent of SMD patients were advised to undergo operative revision. Postoperative bleeding occurred in 20% of BIT patients and in only 4% of SMD patients. We found that the extent of postoperative improvement does not depend on preoperative conditions; therefore, it is impossible to predict the extent of postoperative improvement on the basis of the results of preoperative assessment. Both procedures can be performed under local anesthesia, are relatively safe and effective, and do not need expensive instrumentation that may not be available in many medical centers.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease
  • Electrocoagulation / methods*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy / complications
  • Hypertrophy / pathology
  • Hypertrophy / surgery
  • Nasal Obstruction / diagnosis
  • Nasal Obstruction / etiology
  • Otorhinolaryngologic Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Postoperative Period
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Time Factors
  • Turbinates / pathology*
  • Turbinates / surgery*