Surgery for Turbinate Reduction

What is a Turbinate Reduction?

Turbinate reduction is a surgical procedure to reduce the size of small curved bones (turbinates) in the nose to open the blocked nasal passages and help improves breathing through the nose.

There are 3 pairs of turbinates in the nose and the main function of these turbinates is to warm, filter and humidify the air circulation. The turbinates are:

  • Inferior turbinate
  • Middle turbinate
  • Superior turbinate

Turbinate reduction procedures:

Turbinate reduction procedure may be performed to reduce the size of the turbinates so as to improve overall nasal breathing. The main procedures are:

  • Turbinectomy: In this, inferior turbinate is removed using microdebrider (an instrument combining a small rotary blade to shave the tissue & a suction device to clear it) or cold steel instruments
  • Turbinoplasty: In this, the affected bones repositioned within the nose and the excess tissue will be shaved using a technique out fracture.
  • Radiofrequency Submucosal Reduction: In this, the radio frequency energy used to shrink the excess turbinate to a healthier size. This is a less invasive procedure as compared to above to and can be done under local anaesthesia.
  • Submucosal Diathermy and Bipolar cautery are other methods to shrink the turbinates.
  • Latest tool for reduction of turbinate is COBLATION. This is done using a coblation wand. By this the healing is comparatively faster and post operative crusting is comparatively less.

During all above procedure, the patient may observe some facial pain which is generally not bothersome

Post-operative instructions after turbinate reduction:

  • Avoid strenuous activity: lifting, bending, straining, or vigorous exercising.
  • Blowing of nose is not allowed for one week after surgery and can then be resumed gently.
  • If you have to sneeze, do it with your mouth open to prevent nasal irritation.
  • Use saline spray to keep membranes moist and free of crusts.