5 Safety

5 Safety

This section describes safety outcomes from the published literature that the Committee considered as part of the evidence about this procedure. For more detailed information on the evidence, see the interventional procedure overview.

5.1 Crusting was reported in 6% (10/158) of patients in a case series of 158 patients (time of occurrence not reported). In the same study, rhinorrhoea, bleeding, soreness, increased nasal obstruction and impaired olfactory sense were reported in 3% (5/158), 2% (3/158), 1% (2/158), 1% (2/158) and 1% (1/158) of patients respectively (time of occurrence not reported).

5.2 Mucosal oedema was reported in 70% (14/20) of patients in the radiofrequency-assisted turbinoplasty group in a randomised controlled trial of 80 patients treated by radiofrequency-assisted turbinoplasty, high-frequency diathermy, electrocauterisation or partial inferior turbinotomy at 2‑month follow-up (occurrence in other groups not reported).

5.3 A case report described a patient with an arteriovenous haemangioma at the site of radiofrequency ablation, diagnosed 1 year after the procedure. The author suggested that thermal damage by the radiofrequency probe, post-surgical oedema of the nasal mucosa or an asymptomatic infection at the surgical site might have induced angiogenesis leading to the formation of the arteriovenous haemangioma.

5.4 A case report described a patient with de novo intractable post-nasal drip, caused by perforation of the mucosa in the posterior part of an inferior turbinate by the radiofrequency probe.

5.5 Specialist advisers listed theoretical adverse events as bleeding from the turbinates leading to epistaxis, swelling (oedema) leading to worsening nasal obstruction, intranasal adhesions, crusting and atrophy of nasal mucosa.

  • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)