The nose contains three pairs of turbinates (inferior, middle and superior), elongated structures that are responsible for humidifying the air that moves through your nose, while filtering dust and dirt. The lowest pair, the inferior turbinate, can cause obstruction of the airways when swollen, leading to breathing difficulties. Some patients benefit from a surgical procedure to reduce the size of the inferior turbinate.
The inferior turbinate frequently changes size, growing larger when a cold or virus causes congestion, and shrinking when treated with decongestants. It causes an airway obstruction when enlarged, leading to congestion and breathing difficulties.
An inferior turbinate reduction is a surgical procedure designed to reduce the size of the inferior turbinate, clearing up the airway to eliminate any associated breathing or sinus problems. There are several different procedures that can be performed.
A submucous resection involves removing a thin section of bone causing the lining of the turbinate to shrink and the nasal passage to grow larger. This is usually performed in an operating room under general anesthesia.
Radiofrequency inferior turbinate reduction utilizes a probe that delivers radiofrequency energy to heat the tissues beneath the surface of the inferior turbinates decreasing their size. This procedure is quick and painless, and is typically performed on an outpatient basis even in the office without anesthesia or sedation.
To determine if you are a candidate for turbinate reduction, your otolaryngologist will need to evaluate and diagnose your symptoms. Contact our office at 337-266-9820 to schedule an appointment.