Turbinoplasty – Nasal Turbinate Reduction Melbourne
What is Turbinate Reduction Surgery?
Turbinate Reduction Surgery or Turbinectomy is a surgical procedure that reduces or removes the nasal turbinates. Enlarged nasal turbinates can obstruct your nasal airway making it difficult to breathe properly.
Turbinates are bony structures found in your nose that warm and moisten the air you breathe in. Also known as conchae, these structures are very important for the circulation of air in the nasal cavity.
There are usually three to four of them in the cavity and they can sometimes become enlarged either because the bone is too big or excessive soft tissue accumulates on the conchae. The swelling of the turbinates fluctuates during the day and can result in major medical disorders like obstructive sleep apnea.
Am I a Candidate for Turbinate Reduction Surgery?
Turbinate Reduction Surgery is an effective medical procedure, to help improve your breathing. Turbinate reduction surgery maybe be an option for you if you;
- Suffer from chronic nasal congestion
- Have obstructive sleep apnea, arising from turbinate hypertrophy
- Experience chronic infections
- Have anatomic deformities of the nose
- Have severe allergies that result in turbinate enlargement
- Experience frequent nosebleeds due to dysregulation of the airflow
- Or, you want to minimize your snoring
In other words, you are a candidate for turbinate reduction surgery if you suffer from turbinate swelling that cannot be reversed by non-surgical medical intervention alone. You may also consider turbinate reduction surgery after you have undergone a septoplasty. This is due to the fact that it can further open up your airways and improve your breathing.
Book a nose consultation with our nose surgery experts in Melbourne or Sydney if you are constantly dealing with nasal congestion that just won’t go away and find out if you are a candidate for a turbinectomy procedure.
Benefits of Turbinate Reduction Surgery
Turbinate Reduction Surgery helps relieve your blocked and congested nose. It also improves the airflow in your nasal cavity, resulting in a significant decrease in nosebleeds and snoring.
Turbinectomy, or Turbinoplasty, can also reduce the frequency of infections which can worsen nasal congestion.
It may be necessary to undergo this procedure along with a septoplasty, especially if the deviated septum has occurred due to the influence of enlarged conchae. Turbinoplasty after a septoplasty helps open up the nasal cavity, even more, which can further improve your breathing.
Turbinate Reduction Surgery Procedure and Steps
During a Turbinate Reduction Procedure, there are several tool options that your surgeon can use depending on your specific needs. The procedure is done as a same-day procedure in a surgery room using general anaesthesia. The entire surgical procedure may take anywhere from fifteen minutes to two hours. Although this depends on how many procedures you are having and how complex they are. However, an easy and direct turbinectomy may take fifteen to thirty minutes and you can go home the same day.
Some of the tools that your nose surgeon may use to either reduce the size of the turbinates or remove the turbinates completely can be found below;
- Endoscope: This tool helps reduce the size of the turbinates and is a small tube with a light at the end of it to allow for better visualization. The tube is inserted into the nostrils for the procedure, leaving behind zero visible scarrings.
- Microdebrider: This tool is similar to a rotary knife with a hook that allows the surgeons to reduce the size of the turbinates by removing part of it. The surgeon may use one of the following tools along with the microdebrider to stop the bleeding normally seen with turbinate excision.
- Cauterization: This process is performed using a cautery pen that burns off part of the tissue to reduce the size of it or close it off to stop the bleeding.
- Radiofrequency: This involves high-frequency electrical currents being passed through the tissue that needs to be removed. The process of using radiofrequency to reduce the size of enlarged turbinates is referred to as diathermy.
As the turbinates heal from the surgery, they reduce in size allowing for better airflow.
Recovery from Turbinate Reduction Surgery
Recovery from turbinectomy procedure differs depending on the type of procedure performed and the specific tools used. A minimally invasive and direct turbinate reduction surgery can heal completely within three weeks of the surgery, while more invasive surgery can take up to six months.
After the surgery, for at least a week, your surgeon may place gauze in your nostrils to help with the healing process. During your recovery phase, you may also experience swelling of the nose, cheeks, eyes, and sometimes, even lips. There might also be bruising along with soreness and numbness, although this is manageable with pain medication that your surgeon will prescribe, you may also receive a prescription for a saline nasal spray to help reduce stuffiness. Furthermore, we suggest the use of a humidifier to minimize the feeling of nasal stuffiness.
You will be asked to refrain from strenuous exercise for at least 2 days to a week after the surgery and to avoid smiling, talking too much, or chewing hard during the healing process to guarantee the best results and complete healing.
Risks and Complications of Turbinate Reduction Surgery
Turbinate Reduction Surgery is a surgical procedure and like other surgical procedures, it has certain risks and complications that you should be aware of before deciding to undergo the procedure.
- Scar formation inside the nose
- Formation of a hole in the tissue dividing the septum
- Fluid buildup in the nasal cavity
- Change in the sense of smell
- Swelling of the nose, lips and cheeks
- Irritation of the nasal cavity
- Dryness of the nasal cavities
You can avoid or manage all of these by using saline irrigation and the prescribed antibiotics. Book a consultation now to further discuss these complications and decide if turbinectomy is the surgery for you.
Your Turbinate Reduction Surgery Journey
This is your first step towards reduced turbinates and improved breathing. During this phase, your surgeon will assess and evaluate your nasal cavity to determine the right type of surgery for you. Depending on your specific situation, your surgeon may recommend a turbinoplasty alone or a turbinoplasty surgery with septoplasty or sinus surgery. It is very important to discuss the entire surgical procedure and potential complications during this stage to make an informed decision and move forward.
The entire procedure of turbinectomy or turbinate reduction can be complete within fifteen to thirty minutes, under general anesthesia. Based on the physical examination of the nasal cavity done during the consultation phase, your plastic surgeon may decide to either remove parts of the turbinates or perform complete excision.
Your surgeon may choose either a diathermy technique to reduce the size of the turbinates and stop the bleeding or they may use an endoscope or a microdebrider to excise parts or whole turbinates. The incision for this procedure is made inside the nose meaning there will be no scars visible on the outside. If the surgery is done in conjunction with a septoplasty it can take up to three hours.
You will usually be discharged a couple of hours after surgery and your surgeon will place gauze in your nasal cavity to help the incision heal properly.
This is the last phase of your turbinoplasty journey. It is usually characterized by swelling, bruising, and discomfort of the nose, lips, cheeks, and eyes. You may also experience temporary numbness and nasal stuffiness, both of which will resolve with time. You are to absolutely avoid any kind of strenuous activities for the first week after the surgery. Your surgeon may also recommend that you do not;
- chew hard
- talk too much
- or smile much during the recovery phase to avoid irritating the incision.
Total recovery time for a minimally invasive and simple turbinoplasty is around three weeks. Whereas an invasive procedure may take up to six months to heal.
Further Medical Reading
Frequently Asked Questions
Can turbinates grow back after reduction?
- Nasal turbinates can grow back after the reduction procedure due to various reasons like;
- Hormonal changes
- Or the use of certain medications.
- The use of proper medical treatment and nasal sprays can help reduce the size of these nasal turbinates. However, if that fails to bring about any effective results, another surgery may be needed.
Does turbinate reduction help sleep apnea?
- The turbinate reduction procedure is known to improve breathing. It can also cure snoring and sleep apnea that arises due to the blockage of nasal airways by enlarged conchae.
Is turbinate reduction safe?
- Turbinate reduction is a safe procedure with low risks and complications associated with it. The main risk of turbinate reduction surgery is removing too much tissue that results in the conchae’s inability to moisten the air entering the nasal passages. This eventually causes the nasal cavity to dry up. However, you can minimise the risks by choosing a plastic, not a cosmetic surgeon.
- It is vital that you choose the right surgeon, someone who has training in the field and has the certification to do your surgery.
What can I expect after septoplasty and turbinate reduction?
- After a septoplasty and turbinate reduction surgery, you may experience some mild discomfort, pain, and bruising. However, that usually resolves spontaneously within the first week. If need be, you can use pain management medications prescribed by your doctor to alleviate the pain.
- You may also experience stuffiness or blocked nose and ears after the surgery which is quite normal.
- There may be nasal bleeding and discharge for which a gauze will be placed in your nasal cavity.
How do I clean my nose after turbinate surgery?
- One to two days after the surgery, you must start doing saline nasal irrigation and washes to wash off any surgical debris and crust along with any mucus and blood.
- Around thirty minutes after the saline wash, you must use a nasal steroid spray to reduce inflammation and help the healing process.
Do swollen turbinates cause pain?
- Swollen turbinates create excess mucus. Which when it accumulates blocks the sinuses resulting in not only nasal congestion but also facial pressure both of which can result in pain.
Associated Procedures Commonly Combined with Turbinectomy
Hypertrophy or the enlargement of nasal conchae can often put pressure on the nasal septum causing it to deviate. Enlargement of the conchae itself blocks the airflow making it very difficult for you to breathe properly. The associated septum deviates makes the whole condition worse. Not to mention that it can ruin the appearance of the nose.
Septoplasty is a corrective surgical procedure performed with the purpose of straightening the deviated septum. So, combining a septoplasty with a turbinoplasty can not only improve the appearance of the nose but your breathing ability as well.
Is Turbinate Reduction Surgery Worth it?
Turbinate Reduction surgery is a necessary surgical procedure when nasal steroids and other medical treatments fail to reduce the size of the turbinates that are blocking the airflow in the nasal passages. When performed by a board-certified specialist, the surgery has very few risks and complications associated with it. And it drastically improves your breathing, reduces snoring, recurrent chronic infections, and nosebleeds. The surgery and recovery time are very manageable.
Furthermore, apart from mild swelling and discomfort, there is not much to worry about during the recovery phase. All in all, the procedure has several benefits that outweigh the very few risks which make this procedure worth it.
Why Choose Dr Stephen Kleid – Nose Surgeon ?
Dr Stephen Kleid is an exceptional otolaryngologist specializing especially in nasal surgeries like rhinoplasties, septoplasties, septorhinoplasties, and so on. He is a board-certified specialist who has received training in both the United States of America and Australia. He approaches each surgery with innovative and state of the art techniques and strives to produce the best results for the patients.
Book a consultation now to discuss the pros and cons of the procedure with our board-certified surgeons and decide for yourself if turbinoplasty is worth it.