Functional Rhinoplasty Procedures: Enlarged Turbinates

Functional Rhinoplasty Procedures: Enlarged Turbinates

Posted on February 15, 2019

Functional Rhinoplasty Procedures: Enlarged TurbinatesRhinoplasty cosmetic surgery can effectively treat enlarged turbinates. Turbinates are thin, narrow bones that protrude outwards from the sides of the septum in the nasal cavity, and they appear as tiny, curled knobs at the ends.

plastic surgeon Dr. David Kim provides rhinoplasty to patients in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, and surrounding locations.


Types of Turbinates

The nose consists of three types of turbinates. These are:

  • Superior turbinates: Located in the upper portion of the nose between the eyes and nose
  • Middle turbinates: Found in the middle portion of the nose
  • Inferior turbinates: Located right above the nostrils

During the pre-operative consultation, the surgeon will assess the condition of the patient’s nose and understand if enlarged turbinates surgery is a suitable option for them.


Turbinate Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty surgery addresses turbinates that have become swollen due to allergies and irritants. Sometimes, a turbinate may become constricted due to a deviated septum pushing it to a single side.

As a result, the turbinate in the opposite nasal airway becomes larger to make up for the compressed turbinate. This leads to further breathing problems.

To treat enlarged turbinates, some surgeons remove tissue to reduce their size. Yet other surgeons do not excise any tissue at all. Rather, they break the turbinate in the outward direction.

Turbinates are vital to proper nose function as they warm and moisten the air that enters the nose. If turbinates are removed entirely, it can lead to a painful condition called atrophic rhinitis.

Fracturing a turbinate outwardly and away from the septum and subsequently resetting it helps create a larger nasal passageway. This improves breathing and enables the turbinates to function properly.


Surgical Procedure

Various surgical techniques can help reduce the size of enlarged turbinates. Turbinate resection and turbinate reduction are standard procedures to treat enlarged turbinates.

The plastic surgery procedure takes place in an operating room or the surgeon’s office. Turbinate resection and septoplasty are typically undertaken at the same time.

The complete removal of a turbinate can adversely affect the overall turbinate function and cause a very crusty and dry nose. After the procedure, the turbinate tissue may re-grow in some patients. But in comparison to complete turbinate removal, this option is still more acceptable.

Some techniques, such as cauterization, coblation, and radiofrequency, reduce the turbinate size without removing any tissue or bone.

These procedures involve the surgeon warming a portion of the turbinate using a specialized instrument. The turbinate constricts after some time as scar tissue forms due to the process of heating.

In other procedures, the surgeon may remove a part of the turbinate. It is vital to allow adequate turbinate to remain in the nose during these types of procedures as the remaining turbinate can warm and moisten the air that enters the nose.

Submucosal resection is also a standard procedure to treat enlarged turbinates. This procedure involves removing the “stuffing” within the turbinate while allowing the turbinate lining to remain inside the nose.

Cosmetic surgeon Dr. David Kim receives patients from Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, and nearby areas for rhinoplasty.


For more information on the surgical and non-surgical procedures and treatments by Cosmetic Plastic Surgeons Dr. David Kim and Dr. Eugene Kim.  Click here to contact us today.

Serving Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Orange County, Southern California and surrounding areas.

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