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For those suffering from chronic nasal congestion and sinus infection, turbinate reduction may provide long-term relief, but does it alter the shape of your nose?

Is Your Nose Smaller or Larger After Turbinate Reduction?

Are swollen turbinates capable of making your nose larger? Despite pain and inconvenience, swollen turbinates do not make your nose larger. Reducing the turbinates in your nose can make you feel smaller because it reduces internal swelling and irritation but will not shrink your nose. The bones and cartilage of your nose remain intact, so the underlying structural support is unaffected. As a result of this procedure, excess soft tissue in the inferior turbinates is removed. The patient's nose does not change in any way due to turbinate reduction.

It is possible, however, to change the shape of your nose with septoplasty, which is often done in conjunction with turbinate reduction. Septoplasty aims to correct a deviated septum, which results in reduced airflow, pain, and infection when the walls between the nasal passages are not straight. Even though turbinate reduction itself does not impact nose shape or size, if you need a septoplasty, you should ask your surgeon how the surgery will affect your nose. 

What is the Purpose of Turbinate Reduction?

Turbinates, which extend into the nasal breathing passage near the septum, are tiny bone and soft tissue structures. As air passes through your nose and into your lungs, they purify and humidify it and filter out dust, dirt, and allergens. 

Infections of the sinuses and nasal obstruction are expected consequences of enlarged turbinates, specifically the inferior turbinate. You may have enlarged turbinates if you have trouble breathing through your nose, especially at night.

Enlarged turbinates can cause the following symptoms:

  • Sleep apnea
  • Congestion
  • Sinus infections
  • Headaches
  • Sneezing excessively

What Are Some Types of Turbinate Reduction Procedures?

  1. Turbinate resection or turbinectomy is the procedure used to remove part or all of the lower turbinate. A microdebrider is utilized with an endoscope inserted into the nose. The endoscope guides the high-speed tool to shave off excess tissue and suction it out. This procedure can be conducted under general anesthesia or local anesthesia.
  2. If you are experiencing turbinate enlargement, a highly effective and minimally invasive treatment, radiofrequency ablation, is available. This procedure involves using radiofrequency energy applied to the turbinates using an endoscope inserted through the nasal passage. A healthcare professional can perform this procedure under local anesthesia in their office. Additionally, if necessary, the procedure can be repeated in the future should the turbinate grow back.
  3. Laser Submucosal Resection (S.M.R.) surgery is a highly effective and efficient way to optimize nasal airflow. In just 15 minutes, patients can experience significant relief from nasal congestion by using a fiber optic wire and laser underneath the turbinates' lining. Post-operative pain is minimal; patients can return home within an hour of the surgery. Patients can expect to see results within two weeks, and full results should be seen after six to eight weeks.

What is the Takeaway?

Is your nose shaped differently after turbinate reduction? Except in severe cases, nose changes are uncommon other than when getting a septoplasty. Consider turbinate reduction surgery if you experience sinus congestion and wish to improve your breathing. You shouldn't have to worry about the shape of your nose if you find the right ENT Specialist

We provide long-term solutions for sinus problems at South Florida ENT Associates, whether you need a septoplasty or an inpatient turbinate reduction. Please make an appointment with us today and begin your journey toward relief.

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