Laser treatment of rhinitis—1 year follow-up


Correspondence: Mr. A. S. Jones, Acting Head, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Liverpool, Royal Liverpool Hospital, PO Box 147, Liverpool L69 3BX, UK.


Laser cautery of the inferior turbinates for the treatment of rhinitis has been shown to be as effective as sub-mucosal diathermy in the short-term and to produce less morbidity. However, the long-term effects are unknown. A cohort of patients who were treated by either of these methods were reviewed 1 year after treatment. Subjective and objective measurements of airway obstruction were performed using a linear analogue scale and a nasal peak inspiratory flowmeter. The results obtained were compared with those recorded pre-operatively, 3 days post-operatively and 6 days post-operatively.

In contrast to the results of sub-mucous diathermy of the inferior turbinates for the treatment of rhinitis, the reduction in subjective nasal airway obstruction obtained by laser cautery to the inferior turbinates is maintained 1 year after surgery.

Neither method of turbinate reduction was associated with a sustained objective improvement in nasal airway patency as measured by peak nasal inspiratory flow rate determinations.