What are Turbinates in the Nose?
The three tiny ridges which stick out in the nose spaces inside each nostril are known as turbines.
These turbinates are attached to both the left and right walls of the nasal cavity.
The superior (upper), middle and inferior (lower) are the three types of turbinates.
The inferior turbinates are the largest and the most important turbinates, while middle turbinates are the second-largest turbinates.
These turbinates are made up of thin bone and is covered with nasal membranes.
The major three functions of these turbinates are- they filter the air passing through the nose reaching to the lungs, humidify and warms up the air.
These structures cause blockage, swelling, and drippy nose in those people who are allergic.
Turbinates abnormality can lead to variations in their positions and size that makes it difficult to know till what size they will swell.
Who should consider Turbinate Surgery?
- Symptomatic women candidates are having anatomically or functional abnormal turbinates.
- Symptomatic men candidates are having anatomically or functional abnormal turbinates.
- Both men and women candidates are physically healthy.
Turbinate Reduction Surgery
The surgical procedure is performed to shrink the turbinates to ease the severe condition of nasal obstruction and nasal congestion.
The turbinates help in directing the flow of air and protects the body from irritants and infections of the inhaled air.
The lower part is filled by inferior turbinate of the nasal airway and can result in swelling due to infections or allergies.
When the turbinate increases in size, then it is known as inferior turbinate hypertrophy.
It can happen due to many medical conditions that include vasomotor rhinitis and nasal allergies.
The benefits of turbinate reduction surgery are:
- The surgery improves breathing by opening the nasal airway.
- The surgery reduces the swelling of the turbinate.
Procedure for Turbinate Surgery
The surgical procedure is performed by inserting an endoscope to have better visual access to the turbinates.
The incisions are not visible from the outside of the nose.
The surgeon then makes a surgical incision to remove the mucous membrane or the excess bone.
The surgery may result in little dryness in the nose.
The radiofrequency or cautery is used to stop bleeding inside the nose.
Nasal Turbinate Surgery (Turbinoplasty)
The swellings within the nose that are responsible for humidification and warming of the air breathe in through the nose are known as nasal turbinates.
The turbinoplasty is often performed with Septoplasty.
The size of these turbinates can increase, leading to nasal blockage caused by exposure to irritants.
The nasal sprays can be used to reduce the turbinate swelling.
The goal of the surgery is :
- The surgery unblocks the nose to control snoring
- The surgery reduces the size of the turbinates and improves nasal breathing
- The surgery reduces the production of the mucus in the nose
Procedure for Turbinoplasty
Turbinoplasty involves many specifically designed procedures.
By using special instruments, the removal of turbinate bone can be done by making a small incision.
On the other hand, the turbinate bone can be trampeled for not allowing the turbinate to stick to far in the nasal sidewalls.
With the help of heat or turbinate excision, the bone cover can be reduced.
The aim is to reduce the size of the turbinate instead of removing the entire turbinate.
The surgical procedure is performed under general anesthesia.