Turbinate Reduction

What is turbinate reduction?

Nasal turbinates are wing-like structures inside your nasal cavity.  Under the middle turbinate, your sinuses drain. When these are swollen, you will experience nasal congestion.  These turbinates, along with the septum and sinuses, play an important part in the breathing process.

Turbinate reduction surgery is used to treat allergies and nasal congestion when medications and other non-surgical options have failed.

You may want turbinate reduction if you:

  • Suffer from allergies
  • Have tried all over-the-counter allergy medications
  • Find little relief from allergies
  • Suffer from constantly swollen turbinates

The Procedure:

There are two methods of turbinate reduction: Somnoplasy and Submucous Resection.

During somnoplasy, a probe is inserted into the nostril which vaporizes and cauterizes the blood vessels.  Scar tissue that forms as a result of this procedure shrinks, and in doing this, tightens the soft tissue of the turbinate.

With a submucous resection, a small incision is made in the turbinate exposing the bone.  A section of the bone is removed and the mucous membranes along with nasal packing are pressed down onto the exposed bone.  A long narrow rod with a rotation blade on the tip is applied into the nasal cavity.  The blade oscillates and removes bone or soft tissue which is suctioned up into the open end of the rod.

These procedures can be performed by themselves or in conjunction with a septoplasty procedure to straighten and align the septum.