About Submucuous Diathermy
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What is submucous diathermy
This is a surgical procedure to remove nasal blockage by using high-frequency electrical currents. It uses an electrically heated instrument (diathermy) to cauterize the unwanted tissue. It is also known as cautery.The procedure
- Submucous Diathermy involves passing a probe below the mucosal surface lining of the nasal turbinate bones. Cauterization is then used to shrink the size of these structures.
- This procedure preserves most of the mucosal lining. It also allows for preservation of normal function. The mucosa humidifies and warms the air you breathe in and also aids in the production and wafting of mucus to the back of the nose. If the inferior turbinates are completely removed especially in severe cases, their function is taken over by the other turbinate bones.
- Small packs or dressings may be placed inside the nose to reduce bleeding and keep things in place. An outer dressing is placed under your nose to collect any ooze from the inner dressings. The surgeon will instruct you on how long the dressings have to stay in place before you take them out.
- There are no visible scars as most of the surgery is done within the nose. Your doctor will prescribe medication to relieve any pain or discomfort. The operation is performed under general anesthesia and it lasts for approximately one hour.
Risks : -Bleeding
-Prolonged nasal dryness
After care : -Submucous Diathermy is usually done as an outpatient procedure. This means that you can go home on the same day. It is performed under general anesthesia and you should have someone drive you home after the procedure.
-You should keep the nose well moisturized using saline nasal douches due to postoperative nasal dryness.
-You should also avoid blowing your nose and should open your mouth wide open when sneezing as this is helpful.
-Heavy lifting and straining should not be undertaken for the first 2-3 weeks.
-You can apply Vaseline to the anterior nostrils of symptomatic relief throughout the day and at bedtime as needed.
-A blood stained watery discharge from the nose is normal and will take a few days to settle. As the nose heals, scabbing may occur. Do not pick the scabs as this will cause bleeding. If a plaster or nasal splint is in place, do not disturb it.
-Avoid very hot drinks, meals, or baths for the first few days.
-Stop or cut down on smoking as it irritates the nasal passages and affects the body’s ability to heal.
-Avoid people with colds and coughs and dusty or crowded places, as infection can be picked up in the nose.
-If fresh and steady bleeding occurs, pinch the fleshy part of the nose and lean forward, then apply ice to the forehead and bridge of the nose. A frozen pack is a good alternative if you do not have ice in the freezer. You should avoid swallowing any blood as it can make you feel sick. If the bleeding continues for longer than 30 minutes call your doctor.
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