Turbinate Reduction

What Are Turbinates

Turbinates are  small sections of tissue inside the nose that cleanse and humidify inhaled air before it enters the lungs; this tissue, called turbinates, can become inflamed by allergies, infection, or other means and generate mucus, making breathing difficult.

What Is Turbinate Reduction?

Turbinate reduction improves airflow in people with chronic nasal obstruction. Your surgeon reduces the size of your turbinates (small, bony structures inside of your nose) by removing excess tissue. Turbinate reduction is usually recommended if nonsurgical treatments don’t solve the issue.

Turbinate reduction is a surgical procedure performed by ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialists to improve airflow in people with chronic nasal congestion. This procedure is also called nasal turbinate reduction and inferior turbinate reduction. (It’s called bilateral turbinate reduction when surgery is performed on both sides of your nose.)

Why is turbinate reduction done?

Turbinate reduction surgery removes excess tissue around your turbinate bones so you can breathe easier. Turbinates are tiny structures inside of your nose. They cleanse, heat and humidify air as it passes through your nasal cavity and into your lungs.

Your turbinates can become inflamed and swollen as a result of irritation, allergies or infection. Most of the time, this inflammation is temporary. But some people can develop chronic swelling of their turbinates (hypertrophy).

How Common Is Turbinate Reduction Surgery?

Turbinate reduction is a common surgical procedure. It may be performed alone or in combination with other treatments, such as septoplasty (to correct a deviated septum) or rhinoplasty (to reshape the nose or correct breathing problems).

How Successful Is Turbinate Reduction?

The overall success rate for turbinate reduction is about 82%. While it’s possible for the tissue around your turbinates to grow back eventually, many people find the results of turbinate reduction satisfactory.

How Do I Know If I Need Turbinate Reduction Surgery?

To find out if you need turbinate reduction, your healthcare provider will perform a physical examination. To confirm your diagnosis, they may use nasal endoscopy to examine the inside of your nose.

Your ENT specialist  will recommend steroid nasal sprays and/or antihistamines as a first line of treatment. However, if these treatments aren’t successful, then turbinate reduction may be necessary. Turbinate reduction surgery is usually indicated when nasal obstruction leads to congestion, post-nasal drip, sleep apnea or other breathing disorders.

Is Turbinate Reduction Surgery Painful?

People who have turbinate reduction may experience discomfort for a few days, but it’s usually minimal. If your turbinate reduction was performed in combination with other procedures, you might have more discomfort. To ease your symptoms, take all medications exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider.

What Are The Benefits Of Turbinate Reduction Surgery?

The benefits of turbinate reduction surgery include:

  • Opens your nasal airway and improves breathing.
  • Reduces snoring.
  • Treats severe nasal allergies.

What Are The Risks Of Turbinate Reduction Surgery?

The risks of turbinate reduction surgery include:

  • Empty nose syndrome (a very rare condition in which you can’t feel the air that moves through your nasal passages).
  • Chronic nasal dryness.

How Is Turbinate Reduction Surgery Done?

Turbinate reduction surgery can be performed as a same-day procedure — either in a hospital, ambulatory surgical center or an outpatient clinic. In most cases, the procedure is performed under general anesthesia, though some people may only need local anesthesia.

During turbinate reduction surgery, your surgeon carefully shrinks your turbinate tissue. This can be done using one of several techniques, including:

Cauterization. A heated probe is placed inside of your nose to close off some of the blood vessels in your turbinates. This results in reduced blood flow, which shrinks your turbinate tissues.

Radiofrequency turbinate reduction. Using radiofrequency ablation, a long, thin probe delivers heat energy to your inflamed turbinates, forming scar tissue. As a result, your turbinate tissues shrink.

Coblation. The term “coblation” means “controlled ablation.” Like radiofrequency reduction, coblation uses heat energy to shrink your turbinate tissues. However, this method uses a lower temperature to keep surrounding tissues intact.

Microdebrider submucosal resection. During this procedure, your surgeon creates a small opening in your turbinate. They remove tissue through that opening, but leave the outer lining in place. As you heal, your turbinates shrink.

Partial resection. This procedure involves removing a small piece of your turbinate. Unlike the methods outlined above, partial resection removes both soft and hard tissue.

Turbinate Reduction Surgery Recovery?

After your turbinate reduction surgery, your healthcare provider will give you a list of detailed postoperative instructions. These guidelines will help you stay comfortable during the healing process.

Crusting will likely develop on your nose. This is from nasal discharge that occurs while your turbinates heal. Crusting may last up to three weeks. To relieve your symptoms, you can use saline nasal spray or a cool mist humidifier. Or you can apply petroleum jelly around your nose.

What Is The Recovery Period From Turbinate Reduction?

You’ll be able to return to work, school and other normal routines in one day if you have the in-office procedure, and in one week if you have the procedure under general anesthesia. Complete turbinate reduction recovery can take up to six weeks. During this time, your ENT Specialist provider will monitor your healing to make sure you’re on track.

Rhinoplasty Is The Most Difficult Cosmetic Surgery: Choose the Right Surgeon.

Rhinoplasty surgery is a surgery in millimeters and is the most difficult cosmetic surgery to perform because the nose has many intricate moving parts. Poor, or “cavalier” surgical techniques can sometimes lead to long lasting deformity, so it is very important that you do your research to choose the surgeon best suited for your nose.

Rhinoplasty requires specific training and the right surgeons for rhinoplasty are Board Certified Plastic Surgeons or Ear Nose & Throat Specialists with years and years of experience.  At The Rhinoplasty Center at Beverly Hills Medical Group our Rhinoplasty Surgeons are Board Certified Plastic Surgeons and Ear Nose & Throat Specialists with over 20 years of experience.