What is turbinate reduction?

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Written and checked by Op. Dr. Tamer Haliloglu

What is turbinate reduction?

Turbinate reduction is a surgical procedure performed by ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialists to improve airflow in people with chronic nasal congestion. This procedure is also called nasal turbinate reduction and inferior turbinate reduction. (It’s called bilateral turbinate reduction when surgery is performed on both sides of your nose.)


The structure called concha is located on the side walls of the nose. The outer part of these structures consists of spongy soft tissue and the inner part of the bone skeleton. Nose meats are very rich in veins. The growth of these meats can cause problems such as shortness of breath and snoring. Depending on these problems, nasal surgery can be performed with certain examinations.


What is Nasal Concha (Nasal Flesh)?

Nose meats, three each, are located in the lower, middle and upper parts of the nose. The tasks of these meats are to warm, humidify, filter and transmit the air drawn into the lungs. Nasal meats, which are composed of bone and soft tissue, provide blood to the veins inside when the weather is cold. Thus, it swells and ensures that the air taken from the nose becomes ready for breathing.


What are the Causes of Nasal Flesh Growth?

In some cases, the lower and middle parts of the nose meat grow more than necessary. The enlargement of the nasal concha is generally seen in nasal bone curvature, allergic reactions and pregnancy. In addition to these conditions, some infections, some drugs and environmental factors cause enlargement of the nasal concha.


• Medicines: Long-term use of nasal decongestants used to clear nasal congestion in colds and flu causes enlargement and drying of the nasal flesh.


• Allergic Reactions: When people with allergies breathe air containing pollen, dust, house dust, mold and pollen, the nasal flesh swells and remains swollen (edematous) for a long time. When allergic reactions are repeated, they cause enlargement of the nasal concha after a while.


• Infections: With the repetition of upper respiratory tract infections such as sinusitis and viral infections, the nasal flesh enlarges.


• Environmental Factors: Sitting for a long time in environments with polluted air and smoking cause the nasal conchae to be adversely affected and cause growth.


What Kind of Problems Does Nose Meat Cause?


Excessive growth of the nasal flesh can cause some negativities in the life of the patient. Bone curvature in the nose causes difficulty in breathing, shortness of breath, headache, snoring at night while sleeping and throat infections. It is aimed to end these problems in patients with nasal concha surgery.


What are the Symptoms of Nasal Enlargement?

The most common symptoms of enlarged nasal concha is nasal congestion. Patients have difficulty in breathing deeply. In order to increase the oxygen intake during sleep at night, deep breaths are taken and given through the mouth. Congestion of the nose also causes snoring. In addition, these symptoms are as follows; Pressure in the forehead area, change in sense of smell, runny nose and mild facial pain.


What is turbinate reduction surgery and How Is It Performed?


Nasal surgery is performed under general or local anesthesia. One of the methods is nasal pulp removal surgery. In other words, it is done by cutting and removing the entire turbinate. Since this method will fail to filter and humidify the inhaled air afterwards, it is not completely removed unless necessary.


If there is no problem in the nasal bones, the nasal flesh reduction method is applied. Nasal surgery is performed with the latest technological product laser developed for this purpose. Accurate results are obtained in a single session. During concha reduction surgery, it is aimed to preserve the structure of the nasal concha to a large extent.


The Methods Frequently Used in Concha (Nasal Meat) Surgery are listed as follows;

• The method of reducing the concha with the effect of heat (laser or cauterization)

• The method of reducing the concha with radiofrequency waves (2 sessions are required.)

• The use of microdebrider to reduce the inner soft tissue of the nasal concha

• Pushing or reducing the nasal bone to the side by breaking it

• Methods of removing some or all of the nasal concha by cutting are widely used in surgeries.


How is turbinate reduction Performed with Laser?

The most preferred option in nasal concha surgeries is scraping and removal of the adenoid. There is also the method of cutting and removing the adenoids as an option that is not preferred much today. It is also possible to remove the adenoid tissue by giving heat energy.

After adenoid surgery, the adenoid can grow back. However, regrowth can occur mostly in allergic children, children who have had surgery at an early age, or in cases where the adenoid is not completely removed.


In Which Situations Is Nasal Edema Surgery Necessary?

Clogging Conditions


• For this reason, in cases of continuous nasal obstruction, surgery may be required in cases of mouth breathing.

• Dental problems, sleep problems due to continuous mouth breathing during sleep, sleep abscess, problems in the upper palate occur due to the obstructive growth of the adenoid. In these cases, adenoid meat is taken.

• Nasal surgery is required as a result of problems that occur due to not being able to breathe in a healthy way, heart failure and not getting enough oxygen to the body through the mouth.

• Developmental disorders in the jaw and tooth regions are problems that occur in the upper palate. As a result of these problems, the upper jaw cannot develop sufficiently, the upper jaw settles further back than the posterior jaw, and therefore, ordotontic problems may occur.


Infectious Conditions

Chronically recurring or occurring sinusitis conditions and nasal discharges may cause some attacks that will make it necessary to take adenoids. Continuous coughing, fever and sinusitis attacks can be given as examples.

Chronic recurrent or occurring middle ear infections are one of the conditions that necessitate and, in some cases, make it necessary to remove the nasal pulp.


Other Situations

Other conditions that cause nasal surgery are the presence of bad breath and the presence of a tumor.


How Long Does Nasal Flesh (turbinate reduction) Surgery Take?

Nasal canine surgery performed by specialist physicians generally takes 15 or 20 minutes. However, if additional procedures such as aesthetic, sinusitis or nose correction are to be applied, it may take up to 2 hours.


What Is Done After Nasal Edema Surgery?

After the nose job, the patients get up slowly after resting for 8 hours. Walking distance is increased with each standing up. Patients can be discharged after 72 hours. In general, there is no restriction in movements. However, when looking at the ground, headache may occur. For this reason, patients are advised to drink plenty of water.


Immediately after the operation, tampons and stitches will be left in the nose. The patient is asked to come to the dressing regularly. The tampon is generally kept inside for 3 days. Physicians inform patients in detail about the healing rate and sutures.


The patient who has had nasal surgery should pay attention to nasal cleaning. The discharged patient should undergo a doctor’s examination at intervals of 3 or 4 weeks. Spray can be used after nasal surgery.


Is Tampon Necessary After Nasal Edema Surgery?


Melted nasal pads or cottons can be used after nasal candid surgery. However, if the deviation procedure is not performed in the continuation of the nasal concha surgery, the tampon may not be necessary.

Op. Dr. Tamer Haliloğlu
Op. Dr. Tamer Haliloğlu

This blog post is written by Op. Dr. Tamer Haliloğlu.

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