Turbinate Reduction or Submucous Resection

What are the nasal turbinates?

The nasal turbinates are out-pouchings of tissue that come off of the side of the nasal cavity and act as the radiator of the nose. They help to humidify and warm the air we breathe through our nose. This video shows a good view of the turbinates.


How turbinates affect nasal airflow

Sometimes the inferior turbinates become chronically overgrown (hypertrophic) and contribute to the blockage of nasal airflow. This can be due to chronic nasal inflammation or allergies. In these cases turbinate overgrowth can be treated medically with allergy medicine or prescription nasal spray. In other cases the turbinate enlargement is related to over-development of the underlying bone that gives the turbinates their shape.

How to treat turbinate enlargment

Rather than just trimming a portion of turbinate, Dr. Lamperti usually debulks the internal components of turbinate tissue using a small access incision at the very front of the turbinate. This "submucous resection" maintains the normal turbinate skin lining which helps reduce problems of postoperative crusting. Dr. Lamperti finds that shaving any excess thin bone and soft tissue within the turbinate leads to the best long term reduction in turbinate over growth.


Combining Turbinate Reduction with Septoplasty

Turbinate surgery is commonly done in combination with other functional nasal procedures such as septoplasty, nasal valve collapse and sinus surgery. By addressing all areas of potential nasal airflow blockage maximal improvement can be achieved with one surgery.