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Reduction Surgery

When suffering from turbinate hypertrophy, a condition where the turbinates are abnormally large, turbinate reduction may be required. Turbinate reduction surgery is performed in order to reduce the size of the turbinates and improve airflow.

Turbinate Reduction Procedure

The turbinates are small bones on each side of your nose that clean and humidify the air. Unfortunately, these structures can become inflamed and cause congestion and difficulties breathing.  Turbinate reduction is the process where your doctor will reduce the size of the inferior turbinate bones, restoring your ability to breathe with ease. A successful turbinate reduction surgery helps improve nasal breathing, minimize post nasal drip and nasal drainage.

Types of Procedures

There are a number of techniques used during turbinate surgery, all of them non-invasive and performed inside the nose. To begin, your doctor will insert a small endoscopic device into your nose to get a magnified view. Your doctor will then make a small incision in the mucosal lining of the turbinates. From there your doctor may use either or a mix of the following techniques:

Radiofrequency ablation. Radiofrequency ablation is used in order to reduce the size of the turbinates from the inside out. Using a needle-like instrument, your doctor will transmit radio frequency energy to the lining of the turbinates in order to reduce its size.

Cautery of the turbinates. Requires the use of high levels of heat used to shrink the mucosal lining. This procedure is done under local or general anesthesia.

Reduction of the turbinate bone. In many cases the inner turbinate bones are too large and must be reduced. If this occurs, your doctor will make a small incision along the front border of the lining to expose the bone. Your doctor will then reduce and reposition the turbinate bone to improve nasal breathing.

Tips For A Quicker Recovery

  • Avoid strenuous activities
  • Keep head elevated at night
  • To not blow nose for at least 2 to 3 days after surgery
  • Avoid clothes that must be pulled over your head

Recovery + Outlook

The recovery process for turbinate reduction varies but many patients experience some degree of discomfort in the treatment area.  Pain medication can be prescribed to help ease pain and discomfort. Saline rinses are key to ensure proper healing. Some dizziness, drowsiness, nasal discharge and crusting can be expected. Leaving the treated area unbothered is crucial during the recovery process in order to prevent further bleeding or complication.  

Most patients will experience immediate improvement of their symptoms and can expect the results to continue to improve over the next few weeks.

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