Case Study

Study confirms effectiveness of somnoplasty as an alternative to lasers in treating chronic nasal obstruction

Study confirms effectiveness of somnoplasty as an alternative to lasers in treating chronic nasal obstruction

PRNewswire -- According to a study published in January's issue of Laryngoscope, the use of temperature-controlled radiofrequency energy (TCRF) demonstrated significant improvement in the severity and frequency of nasal obstruction with minimal complications as compared to laser turbinate reduction.

This study was conducted by Chae-Seo Rhee, MD, from the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. The objective of the study was to evaluate nasal function after treatment with temperature controlled radiofrequency or the laser using subjective symptom scores and objective mucosal function tests.

In this study, 24 patients with nasal obstruction due to inferior turbinate hypertrophy were enrolled, 16 patients were treated with TCRF, and 8 patients were treated using a laser. Outcome measures were subjective assessment of nasal obstruction and frequency by the patient, as well as by objective functional tests; acoutic rhinometry, rhinomanometry, butanol threshold test, saccharine test, and cilary beat frequency.

Significant subjective improvement of nasal symptoms began 2-3 days after the TCRF treatment and 8 weeks after the laser treatment. Objective nasal function tests for nasal volume, nasal resistance and olfaction were significantly improved at 8 weeks following either the TCRF or laser procedure. Only the TCRF treated group had preservation of mucociliary function after their treatment as measured by the saccharine transit time or cilary beat frequency test. No crusting, dryness or edema were reported in the TCRF treated group where as all subjects treated with the laser had edema and crusting which subsided 4 weeks after the laser procedure. This study supports that TCRF reduces nasal obstruction and may help to preserve the function of the mucosa with minimal complications compared to the laser procedure.

"Dr. Rhee's work supports the initial studies performed at Stanford, the Veterans Administration Hospital (Palo Alto) and Vanderbilt University, demonstrating the effectiveness of temperature-controlled radiofrequency in treating nasal obstruction, but this study also supports the importance of helping to preserve the turbinate mucosa which is important for warming, humidifying and cleansing inhaled air, as well as preserving the nasal defense mechanism against infective particles such as bacteria and viruses," said John Schulte, President and CEO of Somnus Medical Technologies.

The Somnoplasty technique is the only treatment available that uses temperature-controlled radiofrequency energy (TCRF) to reduce and tighten enlarged tissues in the upper airway such as the tonsils, nasal passages, palate and base of tongue.

About the Somnoplasty System and Its Applications
Somnus is pioneering a new standard of care for the treatment of upper airway disorders. The Company's proprietary Somnoplasty System is the only temperature-controlled radiofrequency-based technology that has been previously cleared by the FDA for use in the treatment of chronic nasal obstruction and sleep disordered breathing-obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, upper airway resistance syndrome, habitual snoring, as well as a device for tissue coagulation in the head and neck, including tonsils. The Somnoplasty procedures work by heating a targeted area of obstructive tissue below the surface. The body naturally resorbs the heated area over a period of three to eight weeks reducing tissue volume. Clinical evaluations are underway to further expand the indications for the treatment of other upper airway obstructions. The company's website addresses are and .

Source: Somnus Medical Technologies, Inc.