Enlarged turbinates block air from passing freely through your nose, making it difficult to breathe, sleep, and function. This makes it necessary to reduce the size of your turbinates and clear the nasal passages, allowing for easier breathing.
This procedure is known as turbinate reduction.
Before having this procedure, many people like to weigh its pros and cons to determine if it is worth having. Learn what the benefits of turbinate reduction are from your McAllen sinus specialists at Glatz Group of Valley ENT.
What is Turbinate Reduction?
Turbinate reduction, also referred to as turbinate surgery, is a procedure where the nasal turbinates, the fleshy structures inside your nose, are examined and reduced in size to allow air to flow freely through the nasal passages.
When performed, this surgical procedure usually goes inside the nostril on both sides of the nose and takes under 10 minutes to complete.
What Are the Pros?
Whether it’s the amount of recovery time or the quality of life, these factors play a big role when patients decide to go forward with the procedure. A few pros are:
1. Outpatient Procedure
Although this procedure is done under general anesthesia, it is still an outpatient procedure, meaning you will get to go home the same day. Having an outpatient procedure also means that the recovery time is faster and you will be able to return to work in a few days.
2. Better Sleep
Once performed, turbinate reduction will clear your nasal passageway, allowing you to breathe better at night. Sleep apnea is a common reason for getting this procedure and many find that their sleep is no longer disrupted after.
3. Fewer Headaches
If your turbinates are swollen, it can result in pain or pressure in your head along with frequent headaches. After the procedure is done, the turbinates are no longer the cause of pain and pressure, which can lessen the chance of your headaches.
4. Clear Sinuses
Another side effect of swollen turbinates is a stuffy nose. Once the turbinate reduction is done, the sinuses will be cleared, making it easier for air to flow through and improving your breathing.
What Are the Cons?
With every procedure, there are bound to be side effects. Patients will often choose to move forward with the procedure if the pros outweigh the cons or the cons are manageable.
Some cons of turbinate reduction include:
1. Empty Nose Syndrome
If you have to have the whole turbinate removed, you will be unable to feel air passing through your nasal passages, resulting in the feeling of an empty nose. In cases such as this one, there is no treatment for it.
2. Recurring Dryness and Crusting of the Nose
Depending on the case, some may have frequent drying and crusting of the nose. This can often be solved by using humidifiers, sea salt and saline nasal rinses, and avoiding caffeine.
3. More Nosebleeds
The dryness that sometimes occurs can result in a greater number of nosebleeds. This can also be treated with the use of humidifiers and nasal rinses.
Although these side effects can happen after a procedure, they can often be avoided by seeing a physician who is board-certified in turbinate reduction.
What to Expect When You Have Turbinate Reduction With Jonathan Lerma
Once it is confirmed that you have enlarged turbinates, our Physician Assistant (PA), Jonathan Lerma, who is certified through Medtronic in turbinate reduction, will perform one of the following procedures to reduce the size of your turbinates.
- Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA): During this procedure, a small probe will apply low-power radio frequencies into the submucosal area of the turbinate to reduce the amount of tissue.
- Submucosal Reduction (SMR): In this procedure, a small incision will be made in the front part of the turbinate. Once this is done, a pocket will be made in the submucosal lining to make room for a tool called a microdebrider. This tool will suction in the enlarged tissue and rotating blades inside will either cut it down or shrink it.
After each procedure, fatigue, nasal stuffiness, and mild drainage are to be expected. Because Jonathan Lerma is certified in this procedure, he and our team of sinus relief specialists will be able to walk you through each procedure and answer any questions or concerns you may have.
Weigh the Pros and Cons of Turbinate Reduction With Your Sinus Relief Specialists at Glatz Group of Valley ENT!
If you are suffering from the effects of swollen or enlarged turbinates, it may be time to schedule a turbinate reduction.
Make an appointment with Jonathan Lerma and our team of sinus relief specialists today to discuss your treatment options.