What to Expect During Your Turbinate Reduction

What to Expect During Your Turbinate Reduction

by Kassandra Silva (SU)

When you first heard of nasal turbinates, you likely thought, “That’s why I can’t breathe very well through my nose!” Indeed your nose has three small bones on each side of the inner nose, called nasal turbinates, and they warm, filter, and humidify the air as you breathe – so the air is in optimum shape for the lungs.

These nasal turbinates are inferior, middle, and superior in location (superior is the one at the top). Together, they actually increase the surface area inside the nose, thereby increasing its ability to fully prepare and process incoming air.

If you suffer from chronic nasal congestion, allergies, chronic sinusitis, and similar nasal issues, your ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor may recommend and perform a nasal procedure called turbinate reduction. This minimally invasive procedure is performed to reduce the size of the inferior turbinate in the lower part of your nose, which is what may be causing you to feel constant congestion. 

Let’s explore what to expect from turbinate reduction, how it can help your overall health, and where you can go in Austin to see an experienced and skilled ENT doctor who can help you breathe easily through your nose.

Why Do Nasal Turbinates Interfere with My Breathing?

Our nasal turbinates can become enlarged over time, causing:

●      Snoring

●      Impaired breathing, especially at night

●      Chronic sinus infections (sinusitis)

●      Frequent nosebleeds

●      Nasal congestion

Certain medications, allergies, environmental pollution, and stress can prompt the excess growth, or hypertrophy, of the turbinates in one or both sides of the nose. This issue becomes especially problematic for people who also have a deviated septum.

What Can I Expect from Turbinate Reduction?

The procedure involves removing some of the bone and/or tissue of the inferior turbinate. Each turbinate is composed of bone, mucous membranes, and vascular tissue, and the latter two components are what can be particularly susceptible to swelling or enlarging. 

If you are having surgical reduction of your nasal turbinate, the treatment may be done in one of two ways:

●      As an outpatient procedure with local anesthesia and brief cauterization of the affected tissues in the nose

●      As an inpatient surgery with general anesthesia (often done after balloon sinuplasty, which uses inflatable catheters to compact inflamed sinus tissue)

Both surgeries produce excellent results, including: 

●      Freer breathing

●      Lessened snoring

●      Fewer instances of infection and congestion

During your recovery period, you must refrain from blowing your nose, straining, lifting, and bending your head below waist level.

Where Can I Receive Turbinate Reduction in Austin?

Here at Snoring Austin, your ear, nose, and throat health is our top priority. Our board-certified physicians have many years of experience helping people breathe better once again, including performing turbinate reduction for patients who have constant breathing problems.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with one of our outstanding ENT doctors, contact our caring staff today by calling our Austin office at (512) 339-4040 or our Lakeway office at (512) 682-4798. If you prefer, you can also fill out our easy-to-use appointment request form online now. We look forward to seeing you!