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Keywords:

  • acoustic rhinometry;
  • allergic rhinitis;
  • cedar pollinosis;
  • chemokines;
  • cytokines;
  • eosinophils;
  • laser surgery;
  • posterior nasal neurectomy;
  • submucous inferior turbinectomy

Summary

Many different surgical procedures have been described to alleviate nasal obstruction due to turbinate hypertrophy in patients with allergic rhinitis (AR) who continuously have chronic nasal congestion. The goal of surgical procedures should be ‘optimal reduction of volume and secretion with preservation of function’. For a period of about 25 years, laser surgery of the inferior turbinate has been considered a simple and effective surgical treatment with a low complication rate that has been in widespread use by many ENT surgeons. Various trials have demonstrated the clinical effectiveness of a series of different laser systems including carbon dioxide, Nd:YAG, potassium-titanyl-phosphate, and diode laser. Laser surgery generally induces significant increases of the total volume of the nasal cavity. Several studies have provided evidence that the expression degree of local inflammatory cytokines and chemical mediators can be attenuated by the treatment. The mucociliary function of the inferior turbinate seems to be preserved after CO2 laser intervention. A breakthrough in the surgical procedures available for allergic patients who severely suffer from both intractable hypertrophic inferior turbinates and unregulated nasal secretion was introduced in Japan. Posterior nasal neurectomy is a novel alternative method in which neural bundles are selectively cut or cauterized from the sphenopalatine foramen. Resection of the posterior nasal nerve at this point enables surgeons to inhibit the parasympathetic nerve function of the nasal mucosa with no troublesome complications such as decrease of lacrimal secretion. The procedure simultaneously provides interruption of the somatic afferent innervation to the turbinate mucosa. Herein we assess the clinical effectiveness of this surgical procedure based on objective and measurable monitoring parameters and discuss the underlying therapeutic mechanisms.