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Lasers Surg Med. 2001;28(5):404-13.

Laser treatment of hyperplastic inferior nasal turbinates: a review.

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Department of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology/Head & Neck Surgery, Ludwig Maximilian University, 81377 Munich, Germany.



Since the early 80s various types of lasers have been used for the reduction of hyperplastic inferior nasal turbinates. Up to now many studies have revealed a variety of important information. To summarize these findings and to determine the value of laser treatment of hyperplastic inferior nasal turbinates, a comparative review of the literature was performed.


The study of the literature revealed that hyperplastic inferior turbinates of more than 2,000 patients have been treated and followed up. Treatment was performed with the CO2 (10,600 nm), diode (805/810/940 nm), Argon-ion (488/514 nm), KTP (532 nm), Nd:YAG (1,064 nm), and Ho:YAG (2,080 nm) laser in more than 20 studies so far. Generally, the authors of the trials used different laser parameters (power, energy) and application modalities (contact, non-contact, interstitial, superficial). To determine the long-term results objective (active anterior rhinomanometry, acoustic rhinometry, mucociliary function tests, allergy tests) as well as subjective parameters (questionnaire) were recorded and evaluated. In some cases morphological changes of the turbinate tissue were studied by light and scanning electron microscopy (SEM).


Laser surgery of inferior turbinates can be performed as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia. Due to a minimally invasive and controllable coagulation and ablation of soft tissue, almost no complications or bleedings were observed during the operation or postoperatively. Depending on the chosen parameters (power, energy) and the application modalities (contact, non-contact, superficial, interstitial) laser treatment of hyperplastic inferior nasal turbinates achieved comparable or better results than most of the conventional techniques for turbinate surgery like conchotomy, electrocautery, cryotherapy, chemical cauterization, and vidian neurectomy. More invasive (radical) operative methods, such as inferior turbinoplasty, submucous turbinectomy, lateral outfracture, partial and total turbinectomy, seemed to be more effective than laser surgery in the long-term.


Laser treatment of hyperplastic inferior nasal turbinates can be considered as a useful, cost-effective, and time-saving procedure for the reduction of hyperplastic inferior nasal turbinates. Short operation time, good results, and minor side effects compared to other surgical methods provide an excellent clinical response of the patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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