Turbinate Reduction

Nasal TuRbinate reduction

 

Image of enlarged nasal turbinates

Courtesy of Spirox

Certain conditions such as allergies, non-allergic rhinitis, a deviated nasal septum, and environmental irritants can result in excessive enlargement of the lower nasal turbinates.  This results in nasal congestion and difficulty breathing through the nose.  It can also cause a more severe level of nasal obstruction.

Frequently, patients experience worsening nasal congestion while sleeping or lying down.  This is due to further enlargement of the turbinates when we assume a recumbent position (lying down).

How is the procedure performed?

When the nasal turbinates become enlarged and cause the symptoms described above, an office based procedure called inferior turbinate modification usually provides excellent results.  This produces a 20-25% reduction in the volume of the turbinate that results in relief from nasal congestion and obstruction.

You are not given general or IV sedation, therefore you will be awake during the procedure.  Dr. Sikand will numb the areas he plans to work on with topical medications including a decongestant and numbing nasal spray, an anesthetic gel  consisting of three different numbing medications, and lidocaine injections.  These injections are rarely felt due to the numbing gels used before this step.

There are two ways that Dr. Sikand may perform a turbinate reduction. The first way is by using a 3 mm diameter wand attached to a suction device.  It is used to remove excessive tissue from the enlarged turbinate underneath the mucous membrane that lines the turbinate.  The second way is by using coblation technique. The following video demonstrates this preferred technique:

Usually, there isn’t any pain during this procedure.  Including the numbing process, the procedure takes about 30-35 minutes.

What caN i expect afterwards?

Post-operative bleeding is normal and can last for several hours after the procedure. We ask our patients to use Afrin nasal spray 2-3 times on the evening after surgery.  In the event of a heavier nosebleed, Afrin can be used to slow down bleeding with these instructions.  In most cases, the bleeding resolves by the next day.

Expect nasal congestion for 10-21 days afterwards.  During this time, decongestants, steroid nasal sprays, and allergy pills may be taken to help with the congestion. Dr. Sikand recommends the use of saline sinus rinses to help flush out debris and mucous.  Do these four times a day for the first two wThis will decrease the amount of nasal crusting or scabbing during the healing period.