FUNCTIONAL SURGERY

Enlarged Turbinates Turbinate Hypertrophy

The inferior turbinates are thin bony structures inside your nose covered by thick mucous membranes. Enlarged Turbinates Turbinate Hypertrophy reduction surgery is a very common procedure that is done alone or as an additional part of surgery to help restore normal nasal breathing.

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Inferior Turbinate Hypertrophy Definition


To better understand what turbinate reduction surgery really is, you first have to understand exactly what the inferior turbinate is and what we accomplish when we surgically reduce the size of the inferior turbinate.

The inferior turbinate is an elongated, almost tubular structure inside of the nose that is intended to humidify, warm, and filter air as it passes through the nasal passageway. The inferior turbinates are important structures, especially in Utah’s dry and cold environment and as such, a conservative reduction of this structure is preferred. Over aggressive resection can cause other derangements in nasal breathing.

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Inferior Turbinate Hypertrophy Diagnosis


Diagnosis of turbinate hypertrophy can almost always be made during your initial evaluation by Dr. Mobley A complete history, focusing on nasal congestion, medications, and allergies will often begin to suggest the diagnosis of inferior turbinate hypertrophy. An anterior (speculum) nasal exam and sometimes a “scope” exam will finalize the diagnosis for most patients.

Inferior Turbinate Hypertrophy Medical Treatment


There are many first line medical treatments that patients can try to medically reduce the size of the inferior turbinates. Nasal steroids, nasal antihistamines and decongestants can be used to treat inferior turbinate hypertrophy. These medications help to reduce the swelling and improve nasal breathing. The downsides of these medications are that they can at times be drying to the nose and some patients simply don’t like the idea of needing to squirt a medication in their nose on a daily basis.

There is nothing wrong with trying medical therapy before considering surgical options. Also, medical therapy is often employed in the post-operative period to help with normal stuffiness from rhinoplasty surgery. For patients that do not respond to medications, it may be necessary to perform a simple surgery to reduce the size of your inferior turbinates.

Inferior Turbinate Hypertrophy Surgical Treatment


The surgery to reduce the size of the turbinate is referred to as a ‘turbinoplasty’ by some surgeons. Others refer to this as ‘submucous resection’ of the turbinate. There are a wide variety of surgical procedures intended to treat turbinate hypertrophy and Dr. Mobley will always work with you to determine the best procedure for you as an individual avoiding a “one size fits all” approach to restoring normal nasal breathing.

Recovery Time from Inferior Turbinate Reduction


While each patient’s recovery is unique, in general, recovery from turbinate reduction is quick. Most patients will want 1-2 days of general recovery just from the surgical experience. It is recommended to avoid excessively strenuous activity for about 1 week following turbinate reduction. The concern is that strain could raise your blood pressure and lead to a nose bleed. This is extremely rare, but a sound dose of caution is always prudent.

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