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There are three turbinates (inferior, middle and superior) on each side of the nose, and their job is to clean and humidify the air as it moves through your nose into your lungs.
For patients with turbinate hypertrophy, turbinate surgery should correct the problem of nasal obstruction by reducing the turbinate size and thereby decreasing airway resistance while preserving the natural function of the turbinates. This should improve nasal breathing and may reduce nasal drainage and postnasal drip.
Your surgery may be performed in conjunction with a surgical septoplasty under local or general anesthesia. A surgeon will use an endoscope, a thin tube with a light at the end, to improve visualization and provide a magnified view during surgery.
The surgeon makes an incision in the lining mucosa of the turbinate and carefully removes the underlying bone of the turbinate. Your surgeon may elect to use a microdebrider to thin the tissue around the turbinate. Alternately, they may be cauterized with radio frequency or electrical current (cautery or radiofrequency surgery). Complications associated with inferior turbinate surgery include bleeding, crusting, dryness and scarring. Your doctor may prescribe a saline spray solution to relieve dryness and aid in healing.