Turbinoplasty with Turbinectomy

What Is Turbinate Surgery?

The turbinates are shell-shaped structures within the nose that help filter and humidify the air you breathe. They contain tiny bones covered by mucous membranes. You have three sets of turbinates, all located on the side of each nasal cavity. Any swelling or enlargement of these structures can lead to a nasal obstruction. Turbinoplasty is done to reduce the size of the turbinate, while a turbinectomy removes part or all of the turbinate. Both surgeries are aimed at improving your breathing function. Members of The Rhinoplasty Society are board-certified professionals with experience in turbinoplasty and turbinectomy procedures.

What are the Benefits of Turbinoplasty?

There are many reasons someone may be interested in undergoing turbinate surgery. Members of The Rhinoplasty Society usually recommend this procedure for the following benefits:

  • Improve nasal airflow and breathing
  • Reduce headaches caused by sinus pressure or congestion
  • Better sense of smell and taste
  • Improve sinus drainage
  • Help reduce sleep apnea symptoms
  • Increase comfort during sleep and rest

Patients also find that allergy treatments such as nasal sprays work better after the turbinates are reduced. Surgery can also be done in combination with other procedures to improve your overall nasal function and aesthetic appearance.

Candidates for Turbinate Reduction

The surgical removal or reduction of the turbinates is considered a solution for individuals with nasal obstruction due to chronically enlarged turbinates (turbinate hypertrophy). The procedure helps improve the flow of air through your nasal passages. Generally, candidates for turbinoplasty and turbinectomy have exhausted all other less invasive treatment options for enlarged turbinates. You should discuss your concerns with a qualified surgeon to find out what this procedure can do for you.

How Is Turbinate Reduction Performed?

Most of the time, this surgery is performed under general anesthesia. In some cases, only local anesthesia is used. There is no need for skin incisions. Rather, your surgeon works through the nostrils. Several methods can be used for turbinate surgery, which will be chosen based on the structural issues involved. For turbinectomy, the surgeon uses a shaving technique to remove all or part of the turbinate. Turbinoplasty involves repositioning the turbinate and shaving off a small portion of tissue. Alternatively, radiofrequency or laser ablation can be used to shrink the tissue lining.

What Should I Expect After My Procedure?

After the procedure, you may experience some swelling in the nasal area, cheeks, or around the eyes and bruising near the nose and eyes. You may also have discomfort in your nose, accompanied by bleeding and a sensation similar to a severe cold, persisting for several days after the surgery. Numbness might occur at the tip of the nose, upper lip, and gums, with sensations typically returning within a few weeks to months. Additionally, your sense of smell might diminish post-surgery but is expected to recover within one to two months. Most patients can return to work after about a week, with a return to usual activities in about three weeks, although this can vary based on your profession and the extent of the surgery. Full recovery is anticipated in one to two months. Regular follow-ups are necessary for three to four months post-surgery to ensure proper healing of your nasal passages. Recovery rates can vary from patient to patient. It is essential to follow all aftercare instructions to help expedite your recovery process.

Treat a Nasal Obstruction

Blocked airways due to enlarged turbinates can be surgically addressed in a number of ways. The Rhinoplasty Society consists of plastic and reconstructive surgeons who specialize in all things rhinoplasty. They are trained to help you make the best decision for your health and quality of life.

About Us
How do I know if I need turbinoplasty?
Only a consultation with an experienced surgeon can correctly determine if turbinoplasty is right for you; however, there are some common symptoms of enlarged turbinates. These symptoms often include frequent nosebleeds, constant nasal congestion, difficulty breathing through the nose, snoring, and recurring sinus infections. If you have any of these symptoms, turbinoplasty or a turbinectomy may be an option to help you breathe easier.
Will turbinoplasty change the appearance of my nose?

No, it will not. Turbinoplasty and a turbinectomy only alters the turbinates located inside your nose and not the supporting bone and cartilage which provides the shape of the nose.

How long is recovery after a turbinoplasty?

Since turbinoplasty and a turbinectomy are minimally invasive surgeries, recovery is typically short. You’ll have cotton packing in your nostrils for 24 – 48 hours that will need to be regularly changed. After that, it usually takes about 2 – 4 weeks to recover, during which time you’ll use a saline rinse or spray. During the first 4 – 7 days, you may experience congestion similar to a cold or sinus infection. After that, these symptoms generally go away, with most patients reporting improvements in breathing and sleeping.

*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.