Inside the wall of the nose, there are 3 nasal turbinates made of bone and soft tissue that serve to filter and warm the air entering the body. Turbinates can become swollen and create problems such as chronic sinus infections, sleep apnea, restricted breathing, and nosebleeds. Dr. Steven White, a double board-certified plastic surgeon serving the Dallas area, brings relief to his patients by performing a turbinoplasty, also known as an inferior turbinate reduction. This surgery will reduce the size of the turbinates or remove them, which will decrease resistance in the patient’s airway and the nose will be able to properly pass air from the nostrils into the lungs.
Before and After Photos
Dr. White performs an inferior turbinate reduction with the patient under general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure. Small incisions are made inside the nose to allow the insertion of an endoscope and other tools that provide better accuracy and precision during the surgery. Dr. White will reduce or remove the turbinates and underlying bones as needed and then close the incisions. In some patients, Dr. White will perform a diathermy, which uses radio frequency to shrink the turbinates.
Patients should expect to have bloody discharge from the nose for the first few days after the surgery. Swelling and bruising will also be evident after the surgery, but will fade in 2 – 3 weeks as the patient begins to experience improved breathing and fewer sinus problems.
A turbinoplasty is a highly specialized and complicated surgery so the total cost can vary depending on each case. Some health insurance companies will pay a portion of the cost, so patients should give their insurance information to Dr. White so he and his staff can determine their coverage.
Diathermy or Surgery?
Dr. White will determine the best surgical technique based on the complexity of the patient’s condition. Dr. White will examine the patient during the initial consultation and then he will be able to recommend the best treatment for the patient.
Back to Normal?
It may take up to a month for the effects of the turbinoplasty to be felt by the patient. However, patients will begin to notice better breathing and sinus function as well as improved sleep as the swelling and bruising from the surgery subside.
Will I Look the Same?
Since a turbinoplasty corrects the internal structure of the nose, most patients will not see a significant difference in the appearance of their nose. Some patients may notice that their nose is slimmer after the swollen turbinates are treated, but the only way to alter the outer appearance of the nose is a rhinoplasty.