The inside walls of the nose have 3 pairs of long thin bones covered with thin tissue. These bones are called nasal turbinates.
Allergies or other nasal problems can cause the turbinates to swell and block airflow. Surgery can be done to fix blocked airways and improve your breathing.
There are several types of turbinate surgery:
Radiofrequency or laser ablation:
Your doctor may recommend this procedure if:
Risks for any surgery are:
Risks for this surgery are:
Always tell your doctor or nurse:
During the days before your surgery:
On the day of your surgery:
Many people have good short-term relief from radioablation. Symptoms of nasal blockage may come back, but many patients still have better breathing 2 years after the procedure.
Almost all people who have turbinoplasty with a microdebrider will still have improved breathing 3 years after surgery. Some do not need to use nasal medicine anymore.
You will go home on the same day as surgery.
You will have some discomfort and pain in your face for 2 or 3 days. Your nose will feel blocked until the swelling goes down.
The nurse will show you how to take care of your nose during your recovery.
You will be able to go back to work or school in 1 week. You can return to your normal activities after 3 weeks.
It may take up to 2 months to heal completely.
Turbinectomy; Turbinoplasty; Turbinate reduction; Nasal airway surgery
Joe SA, Patel S. Nonallergic rhinitis. In: Flint PW, Haughey BH, Lund LJ, et al, eds. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2010:chap 46.
Chhabra N, Houser SM. The surgical management of allergic rhinitis. Otolaryngol Clin N Am. 2011;44:779-795.
Updated by: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., and Seth Schwartz, MD, MPH, Otolaryngologist, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, Washington.
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