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Turbinate Reduction (Turbinectomy)

The nasal turbinates are masses inside the nose that warm and humidify the air we breathe. A turbinate reduction, or turbinectomy, is performed to reduce the size of these tissue masses.

Turbinate Anatomy

When the turbinates become unusually large, they can obstruct airflow and make breathing difficult. This is generally exacerbated by lying down and can cause a chronic runny nose. Nasal obstruction is a very common problem. An obstruction of these passageways can lead to an individual breathing through their mouth, which leads to dry mouth and sore throat. The turbinates are located on the sidewall of the nasal cavity, projecting into the passageways as ridges of tissue. Inferior turbinates are usually the ones that become inflamed and block airflow.

The Turbinate Reduction (Turbinectomy) Procedure

It is important to note here that turbinectomy does not cure allergies. If allergies are a concern, then a turbinate reduction procedure will likely not give the relief that is needed from a chronic runny nose and difficulty breathing.

Extramural Turbinate Reduction. This is the physical removal of part of the turbinate, but taking no more than 25%. General anesthesia is administered, and the recovery period is usually about four to five days. This method is very rarely recommended.

Limitations of Turbinate Reduction

As mentioned, usually no more than 25% of a turbinate is removed. It is not recommended to take more than that, as it will risk the development of empty nose syndrome. Additionally, it should be noted that the turbinectomy in Houston might not work for everyone. Some may even need to have the procedure performed on more than one occasion to get adequate relief.

Postoperative Care Following Turbinectomy

One can expect pain, nasal stuffiness, fatigue, and mild drainage following the procedure. The pain is usually mild and well controlled with postoperative pain medications prescribed by the physician. The stuffiness, drainage, and fatigue should start to resolve after the first week. It may be necessary to use nasal saline sprays or irrigation after the turbinate reduction in Houston.

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