Clarifix – A New Procedure for the Treatment of the ‘Runny Nose’
Almost 60,000,000 Americans suffer from chronic rhinitis, the medical term used to describe the disorder associated with the runny nose. Etiologies of this disorder include allergies, non allergy mediated irritants to the nose (eg. cigarette smoke, strong odors), and underlying disorders of the nasal nerve, a branch of the parasympathetic nervous system (that part of the nervous system that regulates the digestive tract). Any of these disorders may be associated with runny nose and nasal congestion.
Neuromodulation, in this case reducing the stimulation produced by the nasal nerve, has been shown for years to alleviate the troublesome ‘runny nose’ that many people suffer. Originally this was done by a procedure that actually cut the nerve. This was a big operation and led to some unintended consequences. The ability to select out the nasal nerve and to reduce its function without actually severing the nerve is a huge advance in the treatment of these disorders.
Clarifix works by selectively freezing the ‘runny nose nerve.’ The procedure involves no cutting or suturing. It works with a ‘cryoprobe’ which is applied to the mucosa overlying the nerve. The procedure is performed in the office, under local or mild sedation, takes minutes to perform, and is associated with immediate recovery (and no downtime).
Questions and Answers about Clarifix FROST Study:
Cryoablation of the nasal nerve in patients with a Runny Nose
What does the Clarifix procedure involve?
Clarifix is an in office procedure, performed under local anesthesia or with mild sedation,
and involves freezing the nerve inside the nose responsible for excess nasal drainage. The
procedure itself is very well tolerated, involves no cutting or sutures, and results in minimal
Does the procedure hurt?
The procedure is associated with minimal to no discomfort. Since the nerve being
frozen is associated with the nerve responsible for ‘ice cream headaches’, some patients
complain of a mild form of ‘ice cream headache’ for a short period (less than one hour) following
What are my limitations after the procedure?
There are no limitations after the procedure. Normal activities are resumed immediately.
When do I return to normal?
The nose may be congested for up to one week following the procedure. Your physician
will instruct you in using salt water rinses following the procedure to expedite healing.
When can I return to school or work?
School or work may be resumed immediately.
When should I expect to see results?
The nose should feel back to normal in a week. At that time, the runny nose symptoms
should be greatly alleviated.
How long does the procedure last? Does it need to be repeated?
That is the object of this study. Cutting the nerve is a significantly more invasive and
risky procedure, and that has been shown to give permanent results. Freezing the nasal nerve
has been done previously but not in a dose controlled fashion. Reports from those studies
show that freezing the nerve has a long lasting effect. Since it is a safe in office
procedure, it can be repeated should the symptoms return.
Will I still need my nasal medications following the procedure?
In studies to date, many patients after having the Clarifix procedure have been able to
eliminate medications previously taken to treat their runny nose. This is still being studied, but
some believe that patients without an allergic component to their runny nose symptoms have a
greater chance of being able to stop their medications following the procedure.
Does Clarifix work to eliminate allergies?
No. Clarifix specifically freezes the nerve that causes rhinnorhea (runny nose). This is part of
the parasympathetic nervous system and the nerve treated in this procedure has no effect on
other body functions. This nerve is not responsible for allergies and this procedure will not
eliminate allergies. In treated patients, there has been a beneficial effect not only for nasal
drainage but for congestion as well.
Have questions, or want to request a consult with Dr. Nachlas? Contact Sandy Friedman, Director of Patient Relations at 561-939-9090 or fill the short form below.
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