What are turbinates?
Turbinates are the structures in the nose that filter and humidify the air we breathe. Turbinate hypertrophy (enlargement) can be situational or a chronic condition. Sometimes they become too large due to one of the following:
- Chronic sinus inflammation
- Environmental irritants
- Septal deviation
Turbinate reduction is a simple office procedure with the capability to shrink the turbinate back to a normal size to improve the patient’s breathing.
How Do Swollen Turbinates Effect Breathing?
The turbinate swelling fills the available space to breathe and therefore the patient feels congestion and has nasal obstruction. Many patients will get “hooked” on over the counter decongestant nasal sprays because they can temporarily shrink the turbinates. Unfortunately, this causes a rebound and worsening of the swelling. Our technique works like these nasal sprays but it permanently shrinks the turbinate by removing all of the swelling, similar to liposuction.
swollen turbinates symptoms
- Feel as if the nose is completely blocked or will notice that one side or the other is blocked.
- Sinus Pressure
- Mouth Breathing
- Chronic Congestion
If a patient feels chronic congestion causing difficulty with breathing through their nose they should have an evaluation to see if turbinate swelling is the cause. Oral decongestants or topical decongestants provide relief in turbinate enlargement but the symptoms quickly recur after that medicine wears off.
How Are Turbinate Hypertrophy and a Deviated Septum Related?
A patient with a deviated nasal septum (add internal link) is more likely to experience swollen turbinates as well. The septum is the divider between the right side of the nose and the left side of the nose. It can become bent or crooked, which is also known as a deviated septum. If your septum deviates to one side, this creates space for the turbinates to grow larger.
How Do I Prepare For A Turbinate Reduction?
It’s a simple procedure. Upon arrival at the office, we instruct our patients to take four puffs of Afrin in each nostril. The rest is up to us. It will take only a few minutes and you will be on your way.
Turbinate Reduction Patient Testimonial
The turbinate reduction Procedure
Turbinate reduction is a simple office procedure similar to liposuction. Under endoscopic view, a small puncture is made in the turbinate that is swollen and the turbinate reduction is performed with a special instrument called a suction microdebrider. It takes about 5 minutes and IT IS DONE under IV sedation.
We frequently combine turbinate reduction with the following:
Turbinate Reduction recovery
There is no significant recovery with turbinate reduction. The patient may have a mild cold-like sensation and a little blood in their nasal secretions for a couple of days. Pain medication is not a requirement and there is no limitation of activity.
Schedule a consultation
If you are interested in a turbinate reduction and would like more information, contact our office in Austin, TX today! Call 512.601.0303 to schedule a consultation with ENT specialist Dr. Daniel Slaughter.