The Long-term Effect of Inferior Turbinate Surgery Techniques on Nasal Obstruction and Quality of Life

Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2022 Sep;131(9):933-940. doi: 10.1177/00034894211049573. Epub 2021 Oct 6.


Objective: The aim of the study was to compare the long-term effects of radiofrequency ablation (RFA), microdebrider-assisted inferior turbinoplasty (MAIT), and diode laser techniques on the severity of nasal obstruction and quality of life (QOL) in a 3-year follow-up.

Methods: The patients filled a Visual Analog Scale (VAS) regarding the severity of nasal obstruction and the Glasgow Health Status Inventory (GHSI) questionnaire preoperatively and during the control visits at 3 months and 3 years. Acoustic rhinometry was also performed. A total of 78 patients attended both control visits.

Results: All 3 techniques improved the VAS score for the severity of nasal obstruction and the GHSI total score significantly compared to the preoperative values at both 3 months and 3 years. Compared to the preoperative values, all 3 techniques increased the V2 to 5 cm values significantly at 3 months. After 3 years, compared to the preoperative values, the MAIT (P = .005) and diode laser (P < .001) still had a statistically significant volume increase in V2 to 5 cm, whereas the RFA (P = .06) did not achieve a statistically significant effect.

Conclusion: The RFA, MAIT, and diode laser all improved both the patients' subjective sensation of the severity of nasal obstruction and QOL significantly. The response was sustained during the 3-year follow-up period with all 3 techniques. A weakening in the objective treatment response to RFA was found in the longer follow-up, but that did not cause a weakening of the patients' subjective treatment response.

Keywords: clinical outcomes research; microdebrider; miscellaneous; nasal and sinus surgery; nasal obstruction; nasal turbinate; otolaryngology; quality of life; radiofrequency ablation; rhinology; visual analog scale.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy / surgery
  • Nasal Obstruction* / surgery
  • Quality of Life
  • Rhinometry, Acoustic
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Turbinates* / surgery