All About Turbinate Reduction: Why It’s Done, Benefits, and What to Expect

Feb 29, 2024
All About Turbinate Reduction: Why It’s Done, Benefits, and What to Expect
Is a chronic stuffy nose disrupting your sleep and affecting the way you breathe? You may benefit from a procedure called turbinate reduction. Learn about what it is, the benefits, and what to expect before, during, and after the procedure here.

Its easy to take breathing for granted until you get a stuffy nose, and half a dozen bowls of hot chicken soup don’t help. If you experience persistent nasal congestion, the problem might be with your turbinates. 

Turbinates are small bony structures that line the inside of your nose. Their function is to warm, humidify, and filter the air you breathe in. However, when they become enlarged (turbinate hypertrophy), which can happen due to allergies, infections, or other conditions, they can block airflow and make breathing harder.

Turbinate reduction is a surgical procedure used to reduce the size of your turbinates and improve airflow. If you’re considering this procedure, Dr. Mani Zadeh, a board-certified ear, nose, and throat specialist in Los Angeles, California, is your best ally in your journey toward easier breathing.

Here, he answers your most pressing questions about the procedure, from who might need it to what to expect during recovery.

Who needs turbinate reduction, and why is it done?

If you’ve been living with chronic nasal congestion that doesn’t respond to conservative treatments like medication, Dr. Zadeh may recommend turbinate reduction. Conditions such as allergic rhinitis, nonallergic rhinitis, and nasal polyps can cause your turbinates to become enlarged — a condition known as turbinate hypertrophy. 

Untreated turbinate hypertrophy can close off your airflow, making breathing difficult. If you struggle with breathing, sleeping, and even tasting food properly due to nasal congestion, this procedure may be for you. 

What are the benefits of turbinate reduction?

Turbinate reduction opens up your nose to allow for better airflow. It significantly improves breathing and other associated symptoms of chronic nasal congestion. 

The procedure is also a more efficient and longer-term fix than nasal sprays or other medications. These medications only provide temporary relief, whereas the results of turbinate reduction are more permanent.

Many people with nasal congestion experience sleep disturbances. Turbinate reduction improves sleep and eases sleep issues like snoring and sleep apnea. 

Additionally, your nose and mouth are intrinsically linked. Your sense of smell affects your sense of taste. With your nasal passage cleared of swollen turbinates, you can enjoy the smell and taste of things better. 

What to expect from the procedure

During your first consultation for the procedure, Dr. Zadeh prepares you for everything you need to know or do. He also performs a physical exam and some tests to assess the size and state of your turbinates and the extent of the blockage. 

During the procedure

Turbinate reduction is typically outpatient, meaning you can go home the same day. Depending on your needs, Dr. Zadeh may put you under local or general anesthesia. He can perform the surgery in different ways, from cauterization to radiofrequency ablation or microdebrider resection. 

Depending on your needs, Dr. Zadeh chooses the most appropriate technique. The procedure typically lasts 30-60 minutes, depending on the method. 

After the procedure

You can expect some swelling and discomfort right after the procedure. However, as you heal, these symptoms gradually improve. 

Dr. Zadeh arms you with detailed aftercare instructions you should follow religiously to ensure the best outcome from your surgery. He advises you on how to keep your nasal passages clean and free from infection. 

Within a few weeks after your procedure, you’ll notice significant improvements in your breathing. In a few months, it may feel like you’re breathing through a brand-new nose.  

Chronic nasal congestion doesn’t just affect your breathing; it causes unpleasant symptoms that reduce your quality of life. Turbinate reduction can help you regain your health and comfort. Schedule an appointment with Dr.Zadeh online or call 310-286-0123 today.