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"Inferior Turbinate Debriding Technique: Ten-Year Results," Paper Shows Long-Term Efficacy of Microdebrider Turbinoplasty for Treatment of Nasal Obstructions(1)


Paper Published in February Issue of Archives of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery

Medtronic (NYSE: MDT) announced today results of a study published in the February issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery that were favorable for the powered inferior turbinoplasty technique. The paper, “Inferior Turbinate Debriding Technique: Ten-Year Results,” written by Carlos Yañez, M.D., FACS, from the American British Medical Center, states that in one of the longest-running studies on nasal obstruction, patients treated with the microdebriding technique had excellent resolution of their nasal obstruction, and their long term outcome was similar to subjects with no nasal obstruction. These results were maintained over the 10 years of the study.

In the study, Dr. Yañez followed 341 patients who were treated with microdebrider turbinoplasty and 308 normal subjects not treated, but monitored, during the 10-year period. Of those in the study group, 91.3% remained free of obstruction after 10 years. These results were compared to the normal subjects who had no nasal obstruction initially. After 10 years, 96.7% of normal subjects were free of nasal obstruction. The powered inferior turbinoplasty technique can be performed using the Medtronic XPS® 3000 and Straightshot® M4 Microdebrider. Manufactured by the ENT business at Medtronic and available in the United States, this system features a tiny, rotating tip that allows the surgeon to remove tissue more precisely than traditional surgery tools. Using the Medtronic microdebrider, surgeons can remove enough tissue to correct the nasal obstruction while preserving the mucous lining and normal turbinate function. Preservation of mucosa is considered an important factor in better postoperative outcomes in patients who have undergone nasal surgery. This technique is associated with very low relapse rates (better long-term effectiveness) as presented by Sacks. The Yañez study confirms the long-term efficacy of this procedure following a much longer period than any other published turbinoplasty technique of any type.

“Nasal obstruction remains a significant problem and there are many techniques to treat the condition,” said Yañez. “However, there are no existing treatments that have proven to be this effective during this long period of time. This study confirms that microdebrider turbinoplasty is efficacious long term. The microdebriding technique significantly improves patient quality of life and offers relatively few postoperative complications.”

Symptoms of nasal obstruction can be linked to multiple causes, of which deviations of the septum and inferior turbinate hypertrophy are the most common. Other techniques for reducing nasal obstruction symptoms may include complete or partial turbinectomy, manual instrumentation, radiofrequency energy or cauterization, oftentimes with septoplasty (straightening of the nasal septum). However, these other treatment techniques have been linked to numerous complications, somewhat unpredictable outcomes and high relapse rates. Learn more about nasal obstruction at


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