What is radio frequency volume reduction for the nose?

Radio Frequency Volume Reduction for the Nose
Jump to

Radio frequency volume reduction for the nose: Overview

Radio frequency volume reduction for the nose may help you breathe better. You may have this done if parts of your nose (called the turbinates) are too large. They can block your airways. Or you may need this procedure if the inside of your nose is often swollen. Pollution, smoking, allergies, and dust can cause swelling. This swelling can make it hard for you to breathe.

You can get this treatment in your doctor's office or a clinic. First, your doctor will numb the area. Then a needle is put into your nose. A small electric current goes through the needle. This opens up the blocked area. Your nose will heal over the next 3 to 6 weeks. As you heal, the flow of air should improve so you can breathe better.

Most people go home right after the procedure. You might be able to return to work or your normal routine the next day.

You may need more than one treatment.

How can you care for yourself after radio frequency volume reduction for the nose?


  • Rest when you feel tired. Getting enough sleep will help you recover. Sleep with your head propped up by 3 or 4 pillows.
  • Most people are able to return to work or their normal routine the next day.


  • You can eat your normal diet.


  • Take pain medicines exactly as directed.
    • If the doctor gave you a prescription medicine for pain, take it as prescribed.
    • If you are not taking a prescription pain medicine, ask your doctor if you can take an over-the-counter medicine.
  • If you think your pain medicine is making you sick to your stomach:
    • Take your medicine after meals (unless your doctor has told you not to).
    • Ask your doctor for a different pain medicine.
  • If your doctor prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to take the full course of antibiotics.

How do you prepare for a radio frequency volume reduction of the nose?

Procedures can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your procedure.

Preparing for the procedure

  • Be sure you have someone to take you home. Anesthesia and pain medicine will make it unsafe for you to drive or get home on your own.
  • Understand exactly what procedure is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
  • If you take a medicine that prevents blood clots, your doctor may tell you to stop taking it before your procedure. Or your doctor may tell you to keep taking it. (These medicines include aspirin and other blood thinners.) Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do.
  • Tell your doctor ALL the medicines, vitamins, supplements, and herbal remedies you take. Some may increase the risk of problems during your procedure. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any of them before the procedure and how soon to do it.
  • Make sure your doctor and the hospital have a copy of your advance directive. If you don’t have one, you may want to prepare one. It lets others know your health care wishes. It’s a good thing to have before any type of surgery or procedure.

After radio frequency volume reduction for the nose: When to call

Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:

  • You passed out (lost consciousness).
  • You have trouble breathing.
  • You have sudden chest pain and shortness of breath, or you cough up blood.

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have symptoms of infection, such as:
    • Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness.
    • Red streaks leading from the area.
    • Pus draining from the area.
    • A fever.
  • You have new or worse trouble swallowing.
  • You are bleeding.

Watch closely for any changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You are not getting better as expected.

After radio frequency volume reduction of the nose: Overview

You had radio frequency volume reduction for the nose. To do this procedure, the doctor put a needle in your nose. A small electric current goes through the needle.

Many people have no pain right after the procedure, but you may have a sore and stuffy nose for about 1 week. When there is pain, it is usually minor and requires no pain medicine. You can take medicine if the pain is very bad. Ask your doctor which medicine is best for you.

Over the next 3 to 6 weeks, your nose will heal and you should begin to have better airflow. It may take up to 8 weeks for the nose to heal.

Most people can go back to work or their normal routine the next day.

What happens on the day of radio frequency volume reduction of the nose?

  • Follow the instructions exactly about when to stop eating and drinking. If you don't, your surgery may be canceled. If your doctor told you to take your medicines on the day of surgery, take them with only a sip of water.
  • Follow your doctor's instructions about when to bathe or shower before your surgery. Do not apply lotions, perfumes, deodorants, or nail polish.
  • Take off all jewelry and piercings. And take out contact lenses, if you wear them.

At the surgery center or doctor's office

  • Bring a picture ID.
  • You will be kept comfortable and safe by your anesthesia provider. The anesthesia may make you sleep. Or it may just numb the area being worked on.
  • The procedure will take less than 30 minutes.

©2011-2024 Healthwise, Incorporated

The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.