Comparison of Submucosal Resection and Radiofrequency Turbinate Volume Reduction for Inferior Turbinate Hypertrophy: Evaluation by Magnetic Resonance Imaging

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Inferior turbinate hypertrophy is a frequent cause of nasal airway obstruction and drastically impairs patients’ quality of life. Surgical reduction of the inferior turbinates can be used for patients who did not respond to medical therapy. A number of studies have been performed to identify the most effective technique. The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of submucosal resection (SMR) and radiofrequency turbinate volume reduction (RFTVR) in patients with inferior turbinate hypertrophy. A prospective, randomized case–control study was conducted. Sixty patients with inferior turbinate hypertrophy refractory to medical therapy were prospectively and randomly assigned to two groups: SMR and RFTVR. A visual analog scale (VAS) and the nasal inspiratory peak flow (NPIF) were analyzed pre- and postoperatively at the first week and second month. Magnetic resonance imaging was performed pre- and postoperatively at the second month. The surgical outcomes were compared statistically using subjective and objective measures. Significant turbinate volume reduction was achieved in both the SMR and RFTVR groups. However, turbinate volume reduction was significantly greater in the SMR than in the RFTVR group at the second month postoperatively. NIPF and VAS scores were improved after both procedures at the second month postoperatively. Beside this, surgical outcomes were significantly better after SMR in terms of NIPF and VAS scores. In this study, we demonstrated that both SMR and RFTVR are effective for inferior turbinate hypertrophy. Turbinate volume reduction, improvement of subjective nasal obstruction symptoms, and NIPF after SMR were significantly superior to those after RFTVR.