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Inferior Turbinate Reduction

The aim of inferior turbinate reduction procedure (an allergy and sinus treatment) is to shrink swollen nasal turbinates that obstruct your nasal passages (which can cause frequent sneezing, congestion, headaches, sinus infections, and sleep apnea).

Sinus Solutions of South Florida can perform several types of in-office, minimally invasive, and highly successful turbinate reduction procedures.

Inferior turbinate reduction: understanding turbinates

There are three types of turbinates — inferior, middle, and superior. The function of all three turbinates is to clean and humidify the air before it reaches the lungs. You can be born with deviated turbinates, but most normal, healthy turbinates do not block the nasal cavity.

But if your turbinates become regularly swollen due to allergies or other causes, you may struggle with turbinate hypertrophy, a condition where the enlarged size of the turbinates inhibits breathing through your nose.

The turbinates that typically require turbinate reduction to eradicate nasal obstruction are the inferior turbinates, which can be found in the soft tissue that runs along the sides of the nasal cavity. The middle turbinate is located next to the sinuses and can cause pressure and pain if it becomes hypertrophic.

Before we learn more about the inferior turbinate reduction procedure, it’s important to note that many patients often experience another sinus condition in tandem with swollen turbinates.

A note on the nasal septum and septoplasty

Your nasal septum is what separates your right nostril from your left. Like turbinates, you can have a deviated septum that causes nasal obstruction. You can correct a deviated septum in a procedure called septoplasty. It is not uncommon for patients to have septoplasty and turbinate reduction surgery at the same time.

How is turbinate reduction done? Understanding the turbinate reduction procedure

If medications do not help to shrink the size of your turbinates, many types of turbinate reduction surgical procedures can help. You will need to make an appointment with a sinus infection doctor near you and discuss if inferior turbinate reduction is right for you. A combination of procedures may be used. Many of these procedures can be performed in-office, although more invasive methods may require outpatient surgery with the use of general or local anesthesia.

Methods with bone or tissue removal

Resection methods such as submucosal resection, microdebrider resection, and partial resection reduce the size of the turbinate by removing a portion of the bone or turbinate tissue. In all cases, the turbinate is never fully removed — doing so would cause you to have a dry nose.

The other bone-related turbinate reduction surgery method is called outfracturing and involves breaking the bone to clear the nasal cavity.

Methods without bone or tissue removal

Turbinate reduction methods that do not involve bone or tissue removal all involve the use of heat to reduce the size of turbinate. During these procedures, which include coblation turbinate reduction, radiofrequency reduction, and cauterization, your sinus doctor will use a device to heat part of the enlarged turbinate tissue.

Scar tissue then forms as the heated portion heals, reducing the size of the turbinate. These procedures can take longer to heal than procedures with bone or tissue removal.

Inferior turbinate reduction before and after: benefits of the turbinate reduction procedure

  • Improves your ability to breathe
  • Reduces and relieves snoring, congestion, drainage, and nasal allergy symptoms
  • Causes no external scarring or incisions
  • Can typically be performed in-office
  • Has a very high success rate

Turbinate reduction side effects & turbinate reduction recovery

How long does it take to heal from a Turbinectomy? Typically, just a few days. After the procedure, you may or may not receive packing to help protect your nose as it heals. You will likely experience mild nasal stuffiness, drainage, and pain for a few days after the surgery, but these side effects natural and can be easily mitigated with medication and saline sprays.

The nose knows - Sinus Solutions of South Florida is here to help

If you suffer from enlarged turbinates, then the inferior turbinate reduction procedure is nothing to turn up your nose at. Dr. Bequer and his experienced staff are here to answer your turbinate reduction questions (such as “Is turbinate reduction permanent?” or “What causes turbinates to swell?) and will put our noses to the grindstone until you get the relief you deserve. Contact us at 561-790-7744 and request a consultation today.

Other Sinus Treatments & Resources

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