Turbinate Reduction Surgery in Denver, CO
Nasal turbinates are long, narrow structures inside your nose that help humidify, filter and warm the air you breathe before it reaches your lungs. When the turbinates become swollen, due to sinus infections, allergies or other factors, breathing can become very difficult. Our team of expert ENT doctors can treat this condition, known as turbinate hypertrophy, with medications or minimally-invasive turbinate reduction sinus surgery.
What Are Nasal Turbinates?
The nasal turbinates are bony and soft tissue structures inside your nose that extend into the nasal cavity. Your turbinates humidify, filter and regulate the air you breathe and protect your lungs. There are three turbinates in each side of your nose — the superior turbinate, the middle turbinate and the inferior turbinate.
What Causes Enlarged Turbinates?
When your turbinates (particularly the inferior turbinate) become swollen, you’ll experience trouble breathing and congestion in the nose. You may also suffer from headaches, nosebleeds and sleep difficulties, like snoring or sleep apnea.
Causes of turbinate enlargement include:
- Sinus infections
- Environmental irritants
- Medication side effects
- Changes in temperature
- Hormonal changes (like pregnancy)
Most commonly, allergies or sinus infections cause enlarged turbinates. When this is the case, we can often treat the condition with medication and non-surgical solutions.
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Turbinate Reduction Surgery
When your turbinates are chronically swollen, this is called turbinate hypertrophy. If your turbinate hypertrophy doesn’t respond to medications or non-invasive treatments, we may recommend turbinate reduction surgery to permanently shrink the size of the turbinates. This surgery will improve breathing and reduce post-nasal drip.
Turbinate reduction sinus surgery is an in-office, minimally-invasive procedure, where we administer either local or general anesthesia. Using an endoscope and advanced technology, we perform the entire procedure through the nostrils so there are no incisions on the skin. We make a small incision in the mucosa that lines the enlarged turbinate, and reduce the tissue inside of the turbinate. Then, we reposition the turbinate to allow more airflow in the space between the septum and turbinate.
Recover After Turbinate Reduction Surgery
Turbinate reduction procedure recovery time can take a few days and up to two weeks, depending on the extent of your surgery. When your anesthesia has worn off, you’ll be released to go home. You may experience temporary swelling, congestion and blood-tinged discharge for several days after surgery. However, you can manage pain by elevating your head, taking prescribed medications and avoiding strenuous activities (and blowing your nose). You should be able to resume normal activity and work within a week after turbinate reduction surgery.
After you’ve healed from surgery, you can expect to breathe easier and experience relief from your headaches, congestion and sleeping difficulties. Many patients report that they can breathe easier immediately after surgery, and that turbinate reduction surgery improves their overall quality of life.
Cost of Turbinate Reduction Surgery
While costs can vary based on a number of factors, turbinate reduction surgery is most often covered by insurance.
If you think you may be suffering from enlarged turbinates, schedule a telehealth or in-person consultation with us today. Our team at Advanced ENT and Allergy has decades of experience performing nasal turbinate surgery and helping patients experience long-term relief from congestion and trouble breathing.
Denver, Colorado’s Nasal Turbinate Experts
At Advanced ENT and Allergy Center, we want to help you breathe easy. Our ENT doctors specialize in diagnosing and fixing various nasal issues, including turbinate hypertrophy. If you are chronically congested or experiencing difficulty breathing through your nose, the first step is to consult an expert in the field. During your initial appointment, we’ll listen to your concerns, look inside of your nose and find out what’s causing your issues. Together, we’ll determine a treatment plan that best suits you.
Frequently Asked Enlarged Turbinate Questions
We typically suggest waiting at least a week before blowing your nose after turbinate reduction surgery to help prevent bleeding and expedite healing.
Insurance providers typically cover enlarged turbinates surgery. Feel free to contact your insurance provider to determine what they will cover. We’ll discuss all costs with you at your consultation.
Usually, we use local anesthesia during turbinate reduction surgery to allow faster recovery, without the risks of general anesthesia. However, general anesthesia is an option, if necessary.
Insurance typically covers enlarged turbinates surgery. Cost will depend on your insurance provider. We will discuss all expenses with you prior to your surgery.
Turbinate reduction surgery usually takes 15-20 minutes, but can vary based on the patient. If another procedure is added (sinus surgery, septoplasty, etc.) at the same time, it will take longer.
No, turbinate reduction surgery will not alter your appearance.