The turbinates are an important part of the nose, responsible for humidifying the air we breathe in as well as warming it. It also helps with filtering out pathogens, making it an important step in keeping the body healthy. However, sometimes the turbinate area becomes inflamed for any number of reasons, which can lead to congestion. When more conservative measures don’t relieve congestion, turbinate reduction surgery can help. There are several different types of turbinate reduction surgery. In this blog, we’ll focus on surgery done with a microdebrider.
What are turbinates?
Turbinates are a set of bones, tissues, and blood vessels within your nose. These are also referred to as the nasal conchae due to their shell-like shape. There are three turbinates, although some people may have four.
What is turbinate reduction surgery?
The surgery is done by an ENT. It involves clearing away some of the tissue around the turbinates to facilitate easier breathing and reduce congestion. This is an outpatient procedure with little to no downtime. It can be done in your doctor’s office or in a hospital setting. It can also be done under either local or general anesthesia. Your doctor will determine which type is best for your situation.
What is microdebrider turbinate reduction?
There are several different types of turbinate reduction surgery methods, such as radiofrequency, coblation, and cauterization. One of these methods is microdebridation or microdebrider submucosal resection. During this surgery, your doctor will use a tool to reduce the size of the bone without affecting the mucosal portion of the turbinates. This method has few side effects.
How can you prepare for turbinate reduction surgery?
Preparation rules for turbinate reduction surgery will be provided by your doctor. These may include stopping certain medications. For example, taking blood thinners too close to surgery can lead to excess bleeding during the procedure. Your doctor may also have you stop eating and drinking the night before surgery if your surgery will involve the use of general anesthesia.
What are the side effects of turbinate reduction surgery?
Some mild discomfort can be expected for a few days after this procedure. You will have nasal discharge that may cause crusting around your nose. You may have some dryness or nose bleeds as you heal. You may also experience some swelling and temporary congestion.
How long does the surgery last?
Turbinate reduction surgery should be permanent; however, rarely, the turbinates can grow back or become inflamed enough to require treatment again.
Do turbinates grow back after surgery?
It is possible for tissue to eventually grow back around the turbinates after the surgery, but it is not common.
If you are experiencing trouble breathing, congestion, or sleep apnea, turbinate reduction surgery may be an option. Contact our office to see Dr. Edmund Fisher for an appointment.