New procedure for nasal congestion

New procedure for nasal congestion
Dr Brad Otto uses a non-invasive sinus procedure on a patient. Credit: The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center

A new procedure is being tested to explore its potential to improve nasal airflow.

As part of a clinical trial, doctors at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in the US are using the non-invasive approach to reshape nasal tissue. The Vivaer Nasal Airway Remodeling device delivers radiofrequency energy to the nasal valve area to treat nasal obstruction, a condition that affects millions of Americans. The condition can lead to chronic nasal congestion, difficulty breathing through the nose, trouble sleeping and fatigue.

“What this technology does is reshape the internal nasal valve region, which is a region where cartilage on the side of your nose meets your septum,” said Dr Brad Otto, Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center. “Basically, what it causes the cartilage to do is barely denature and change its shape just a little bit in order to open up that valve and improve airflow to that region.” Vivaer Nasal Airway Remodeling is performed in the doctor’s office under local anaesthesia, so patients can return to normal activities straight away.

The clinical trial is recruiting patients aged 18 to 75 with chronic nasal obstruction due to the shape of the nasal value who have experienced positive response to temporary measures to open the nasal cavity, such as with nasal strips and stents, and where steroid medication failed to help.