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Radio Frequency Turbinate Reduction - Procedure, Recovery Protocol, and Recovery.
Radio Frequency Turbinate Reduction - Procedure, Recovery Protocol, and Recovery.
For those of you wishing to get this procedure done, I have provided below my blow by blow experience with the surgery.  It is divided into three parts:

1. The procedure
2. The protocol for recovery
3. The recovery itself.
The procedure begins with me sitting upright in a chair.  A nurse comes in and sprays novacain and afrin up both nostrils.  We wait for about 15 minutes for it to take full effect and for the doctor to arrive.  At that point in time, 2 long strips of cloth are inserted into each nostril, each strip is soaked in another form of numbing agent.  Again I waited about 15 minutes or more for the effect to take place. I could actually feel my teeth going numb.  Finally the doctor returns with a rather imposing looking needle and says to prepare for the “little pinch”.  Actually, the other numbing worked so well I didn’t feel it at all.
Now for the fun part.
The total procedure took about 15-20 minutes and for the most part felt like a rough visit to the dentist.  They start by boring a tunnel down the length of your turbinate to make room for the RF rods to do their job. Basically, they take something like an ice pick and shove it in your nose.  Feels weird, but wasn’t painful.  I was suprised how much force they had to use to get it in.  I was fearing that they were going to push it into my brain.  Hindsight, I have reason to believe they did go a little too far on one side.
The next step is to insert the RF rods into the newly created tunnel.  When they turn it on, it felt odd and kind of like a dentist drill.  The plan was to run the rods in 3 times in each nostril.  The first 2 went perfect.  The doctor decided to do 2 in the next nostril and then come back and do one pass in each.  Things kinda went downhill at this point.  Apparently the second nostril was not quite numbed enough. The sensation was the equivalent of a dentist hitting a raw nerve.  I had already resolved to stay still if something like that happened.  The nurse saw me grimmacing and was shocked I didn’t move.  Also in the process, one of my turbinates began to split open and they had to stop working on that one.
So they performed the last pass on the other turbinate.  At this point, they were technically done.  Gave me some kleenex to wipe up blood from under my nose and then rolled up gauze, placed under my nose and taped in place.
Go Shopping before the procedure and have the following on hand for when you are done.
Neil Med saline rinse kit (squeeze bottle) with saline packets.  This is the most important thing you can do.  A standard Neti-Pot will not work in this situation.
Sudafed (sudafed is a vascular constrictor.  Not only help you breathe better during recovery, it will help keep bleeding down.
Afrin:  THIS IS FOR EMERGENCY USE ONLY!!!.  If you begin bleeding like a faucet, this can be used to stop it long enough to get to the doctor.
Puffs tissues.
Chapstick:  You will use a lot the first couple days.
Saline nose spray.  (some people complain of dryness)
Vasaline.  (helps with dryness for some people)
Big roll of gauze.  You will need to replace gauze often.
Cloth Medical tape. You need it for the gauze replacement.
The first night you will need to sleep in a recliner.
Take sudafed and Aleve.
DO NOT BLOW YOUR NOSE THE FIRST DAY…  …PERIOD.  Just keep the gauze on your nose and breathe through your mouth, otherwise you will want to blow your nose.
Next morning, . You may use your saline rinse VERY GENTLY.  This will wash a lot of crud out of your nose.  When done, just lightly breathe out of your nose into tissue.  VERY LIGHTLY.  
NEVER NEVER NEVER pinch one nostril while blowing out the other.
Sinus Rinse 2 times daily after the first day.
Sudafed the first several days.
Aleve if needed.
DO NOT BLOW YOUR NOSE FOR 5 WEEKS.  Just a light “puff” while keeping both nostrils open.
No exercise at all for 7 days.
Take a week off of work.  They say you can go back in a couple days, but you really won’t want to.
You may begin walking on treadmill or stationary bike lightly the second week.
No lifting more than 10 pounds the first 3-4 weeks.
Do not use CPAP if you are on one for at least a week.
Saline mist spray as often as needed.
No sex for 3-4 weeks.  (increases blood pressure)
[b] [/b]
[u][b]Day 1[/u][/b]
After the procedure, they gave me some kleenex and said there would be blood dripping a bit.  Then they offered to put some gauze at the base of my nose. By the time I got home, it was soaked through.  So I rolled some more gauze and taped it under my nose.  (basically, you just roll gauze about the size of your thumb and place under your nose.  Then use a long piece of tape and attach under the gauze and tape ends to your temple area.) I had to repeat this a few times on day one. I took sudafed a couple times during the day and a couple aleve.  I had no need for pain killers.  Mostly I just sat in the recliner the entire day.  Didn’t feel real good.
It is important to try to sleep in a recliner the first night. This is a problem for me since I have not ever been able to sleep in a recliner before, I have bad insomnia as it is, I now can’t breathe through my nose, and I can’t use my CPAP.  Oh what fun to look forward to.  
([i]A simple note about breathing.  Technically, I could breathe a little through my nose, but since it was still bleeding, trying to breathe just caused gurgling which would make me want to blow or sniff.  Both of which are bad to do at this time.  So I just laid around with my mouth open and used lots of chapstick.[/i])
[u][b]Day 2[/u][/b]
Well, sleep wasn’t as bad as I feared.  I managed 5 hours. Of course, I cheated and took a double dose of valium.  I also noticed when I woke after a few hours, I was breathing through my nose and the bleeding seemed to have stopped.  I wasn’t breathing great, but breathing nonetheless.  Had to stay aware enough not to sniff.
Began my recovery protocol.  Starting saline rinse twice daily.  
Be sure to use very light pressure with the neil-med.  Just enough pressure to get water to come out the other nostril.  The hard part is to remember not to blow your nose after.  Just lightly breathe out each nostril.  Do not pinch one nostril. I noticed some nasty stuff coming out.  So don’t be surprised.
Started feeling much better in the late afternoon.  Bleeding has pretty much stopped, although I still wore the gauze just in case.  Was able to breathe out of my nose which was a great blessing.  Continued to take sudafed 4x a day and claritan 2x.  Since you can’t blow your nose, you need to minimize mucous.  I decided to sleep in a normal bed propped up (a little) with pillows. Still wore gauze.
Woke with no blood in gauze.  Yeah!  No more gauze for now.  Unfortunately, I also woke with a sore throat and what feels like a head cold.  Praying against that.
[u][b]Day 4[/u][/b]
I got a head and chest cold for sure.  Absolutely miserable night sleep.  It is bad enough trying to avoid sneezing, blowing nose, and coughing without having to have a virus to deal with. If this happens to you…   …good luck!
[u][b]1 Week[/u][/b]
Cold finally left.  Hoping I didn’t damage the healing as I know I blew my nose harder than I was supposed to quite often this week.  However, no bleeding so far.  Some occasional ugly stuff still coming out after doing the sinus rinse.
Good news is that I notice that I am breathing much better now and not just because the cold is gone.  I can actually lie down and my nose does not close up.  We are not talking the Afrin kind of clear, but definitely improved.
[u][b]2 Weeks[/u][/b]
Not much change.  Breathing is better than before.  Began light exercise this week, which basically was sitting on a recumbent bike and lightly pedaling.  Still use nasal rinse daily.  Still getting some minor scabs coming out and a little discolor (red) in the mucus.  But no bleeding.
[u][b]3 Weeks[/u][/b]
Still on restrictions from lifting weights and from blowing my nose.  Still using my stationary bike.  Feel healed, but I know it isn’t complete yet.  Still get a scab or two each day during the nasal rinse.
[u][b]4 Weeks[/u][/b]
Began doing very light weight lifting.  (5lbs max).  Feel fine as if nothing is healing.  Only a few scabs coming out now.  Just clear mucus.  Plan on increasing weights next week, but will still wait a couple weeks before really blowing my nose again.
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RE: Radio Frequency Turbinate Reduction - Procedure, Recovery Protocol, and Recovery.
I feel the pain just reading this!
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RE: Radio Frequency Turbinate Reduction - Procedure, Recovery Protocol, and Recovery.
After reading this I had to take 4 mega pain meds.  Ouch - thanks for the detailed report but ouch

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RE: Radio Frequency Turbinate Reduction - Procedure, Recovery Protocol, and Recovery.
Very similar to what I went through when I had a bony tumor (osteoma) mostly removed.
Lots of gentle rinsing to remove debris.
Note: I'm an epidemiologist, not a medical provider. 
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RE: Radio Frequency Turbinate Reduction - Procedure, Recovery Protocol, and Recovery.
OMG, after reading this, I would not have that procedure done to save the life of my firstborn.

"If I quit now, I will soon be back to where I started. And when I started I was desperately wishing to be where I am now."
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RE: Radio Frequency Turbinate Reduction - Procedure, Recovery Protocol, and Recovery.
I went through something like this over 20 years ago. I was not given general anesthesia. I did not feel anything put sensed and heard everything. I knew what was going on and could not feel it but I was completely aware of the procedure. It was extremely stressful for me. General anesthesia is good.

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