Submucous resection of inferior turbinates is a procedure performed by our highly skilled sub-specialty trained physicians to address inferior turbinate hypertrophy when it does not respond well to medical therapy. While there are multiple techniques to reduce the size of the inferior turbinates, our physicians use a combination of techniques that have been proven to be amongst the most effective and longest lasting. During this procedure, a portion of the turbinate’s inner bone is removed. This involves carefully elevating the mucosal lining that overlies the bone of the turbinate and removing the enlarged portions of bone. The lining is then replaced and the remaining bone is pushed outwardly to enlarge the nasal airway. It is important to remember that the inferior turbinates play an important role in nasal physiology. Thus, too much of the turbinates should not be removed. Our surgeons have vast experience with this procedure allowing them to strike a delicate balance between achieving a wider nasal airway and preserving normal nasal function.
SUBMUCOUS RESECTION OF INFERIOR TURBINATES FAQS
ARE THERE OTHER PROCEDURES THAT REDUCE THE SIZE OF THE INFERIOR TURBINATES?
Yes, there are many procedures available such as turbinate out-fracture, coblation, and cautery. Most of these procedures attempt to create a scarring reaction within the turbinate to reduce their size. While numerous effective techniques exist, there is a lack of consensus regarding the best one and the long-term results of these procedures are mixed. Under certain circumstances, our physicians may employ some of these other techniques to give our patients the best individualized care possible.
DO I NEED THESE TURBINATES, WHY NOT JUST REMOVE THEM?
The turbinates play an important role in nasal physiology. They serve to warm and humidify the air that we breathe and to regulate the amount of air that we can breathe in at once. Removing too much of the inferior turbinates can result in the sensation of worsening congestion called “empty nose” syndrome or excessively dry nasal condition called rhinitis sicca. A proper turbinate reduction procedure must reduce the size of the turbinate enough to achieve a wider nasal airway while leaving the majority of its lining intact. This will ensure that the patient gets the most of out of the procedure without worsening symptoms.
DOES EVERYONE HAVE TURBINATE OR “SKIN FOLDS” IN THEIR NOSE?
Yes, they are present in everyone’s nose unless removed by a physician. Some people even have extra or accessory turbinates.