Inferior Turbinate Reduction in Tampa and St. Petersburg, FL
If you’re suffering from nasal congestion and obstruction, turbinate reduction surgery — which is a procedure that specifically reduces the organs known as the turbinates, which, when enlarged, cause this chronic congestion and obstruction — may be right for you. Dual-board certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon and otolaryngologist, Dr. Dean G. Davis, offers inferior turbinate reduction surgery to the residents of Tampa, St. Petersburg, and surrounding communities in Florida.
Turbinates, which are bones that run across and within the nose, serve valid functions within the nose. They warm up and purify the air you breathe. As such, when the lower (inferior) turbinates become infected or enlarged due to allergies or illness, you will find it difficult to breathe. If this problem persists, you will find yourself getting frequent nosebleeds and sinus infections due to compromised breathing.
Surgery on the turbinates is typically recommended in cases involving the inflammation of the turbinates that is not reduced by medicinal treatments. In addition to reducing the size of the turbinates, surgery eliminates the symptoms of the enlarged turbinates, such as sleep apnea, post-nasal drip, headaches, and snoring. In addition, if you’re getting a rhinoplasty (nose job) that requires a septoplasty (a surgery that will correct a deviated septum), you may also get a turbinate reduction in conjunction with this surgery.
What Are The Nasal Turbinates?
Known as the “radiator” of the nose because it humidifies the air we breathe, the turbinates are located off of the side of the nasal cavity.
How Turbinates Affect Nasal Airflow
In medical terms, when the inferior turbinates become chronically hypertrophic (enlarged), the nasal passages become chronically blocked.
To put it simply: when the lower turbinates are constantly blocked, breathing becomes difficult.
If turbinate overgrowth is due to allergies or infections, symptoms can be treated with prescription or over-the-counter medications. If, however, the overgrowth is due to bone overgrowth, surgery will be required.
Turbinate Reduction Procedure
The most common turbinate reduction procedure is done via insertion of an endoscope through the nostrils (so you have no visible scars). Dr. Davis uses the endoscope as his guide and makes a small cut in the turbinate. He then removes the cause of the enlargement (be it excess bone or excess mucous membranes). In the alternative, Dr. Davis can perform the procedure via laser.
Aside from the potential dryness in the nose, the patient can rest assured that these procedures involve minimal risk. If there is bleeding in the nose, Dr. Davis uses cautery or radiofrequency treatment to control the bleeding.
Turbinate reduction is performed on an outpatient basis. The surgery is only performed after Dr. Davis completes a physical exam, analysis of your unique situation, and determination of your overall health. If you take any prescription blood thinners, are on an aspirin regimen, or are regularly taking insulin for diabetes or other illnesses that require regular insulin shots, you must disclose this to Dr. Davis prior to your consultation and surgery.
Recovery from Turbinate Reduction
The largest benefit of turbinate reduction is that the post-surgical symptoms are very minimal. You may experience discomfort in the area, but this can be taken care of with a mild pain medication that Dr. Davis will prescribe for you. In addition, you may experience nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and drowsiness. You may also experience swelling and bruising around your eyes, as well as nasal discharge. All of this is normal and will go away after a few days.
About a week after surgery, you meet with Dr. Davis to remove all of the bandages and other post-operative dressings. You will also be required to only consume clear liquids for a brief period of time after surgery. Dr. Davis will provide other post-operative instructions after surgery, as well.
Combining Turbinate Reduction with Septoplasty
In addition to septoplasty (surgery to repair a deviated septum), turbinate reduction can also be combined with nasal valve collapse and sinus surgery. Turbinate reduction surgery, when combined with these other surgeries that address issues of nasal air flow, will allow the patient to experience maximum blockage improvement.
How Much Does Inferior Turbinate Reduction Cost?
Your inferior turbinate reduction may be covered by your insurance plan. Dr. Davis accepts payment via cash, check, or credit card, as well as CareCredit® as a financing option.
Inferior turbinate reduction is a safe and effective treatment for many nasal problems, but you should only entrust your care to a qualified surgeon. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Davis, a dual-board certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon and otolaryngologist.