The effect of radiofrequency turbinoplasty vs two other methods in the management of polypoid changes of the middle turbinate: a randomized trial

Int Forum Allergy Rhinol. 2014 Dec;4(12):1030-4. doi: 10.1002/alr.21399. Epub 2014 Sep 3.


Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of middle turbinate radiofrequency (RF) turbinoplasty for the management of the polypoid middle turbinate compared to middle turbinate resection and middle turbinate medialization.

Methods: The study was performed on 90 patients at a tertiary referral hospital with nasal polyposis resistant to maximal medical treatment. At the time of functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS), patients were randomized into 3 groups with respect to the management of the middle turbinate: middle turbinate turbinoplasty by RF; partial resection of the middle turbinate; and medialization of the middle turbinate by scarification to the septum. We evaluated the patients' symptoms according to the 22-item Sino-Nasal Outcome Test (SNOT-22) preoperatively and 1 year after surgery. Additionally, polyp recurrence and complications were compared among the 3 groups.

Result: One year after surgery, there was no significant difference in SNOT-22 scores between the groups. However, the RF group had a significantly lower polyp recurrence rate when compared to other groups (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: RF middle turbinate turbinoplasty could be considered an alternative to other common approaches, but it needs further long-term studies before widespread usage.

Keywords: FESS; Nasal polyposis; clinical trial; middle turbinate; radio frequency; recurrence; sinusitis.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Drug Resistance
  • Endoscopy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Iran
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Physiologic
  • Nasal Polyps / drug therapy
  • Nasal Polyps / surgery*
  • Nasal Septum / surgery
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnosis
  • Pulsed Radiofrequency Treatment*
  • Recurrence
  • Rhinoplasty*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Turbinates / pathology
  • Turbinates / surgery*