New treatment helps patients breathe more easily without surgery

Posted at 9:25 PM, May 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-08 23:31:10-04

Millions of Americans struggle with nasal obstruction or congestion that makes it hard to breathe.

Now, a new treatment is helping patients get some relief without invasive surgery.

The Vivaer treatment delivers radiofrequency energy to the nasal valve area to treat obstructions without surgery or incisions. The procedure is done right in the office with local anesthesia and takes less than 30 minutes.

"When you heat up the tissues of the nose, it causes some of the tissues to shrink, to contract. And some of them become actually softer and you can mold them," said Dr. Ofer Jacobowitz, ENT and Allergy Associates. "We apply the heat and push and try to mold the tissues to a different shape - a more open shape and better breathing."

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Patients can experience some soreness and scabbing in the nose, but most return to normal activities right away. It usually takes a month for patients to feel the full results.

The treatment isn't covered by insurance at this time and can cost patients several hundred to $1,000 out of pocket.