What Are Turbinates?

Did you know that you have built-in air filters inside your nose? Turbinates are fleshy structures inside your nose that assist in filtering, warming, and adding moisture into the air you breathe in. If they become swollen, enlarged, or displaced, they can cause a nasal blockage. Those symptoms can cause breathing difficulties. A majority of swollen, enlarged, or displaced turbinate cases are caused by allergies, infractions, weather, and more, and these issues can be easily reversed. In some severe cases caused by chronic infections, severe allergies, and anatomic issues with the nose, however, a nasal turbinate reduction surgery is necessary.

Turbinate Reduction Methods

There are several ways to reduce the size of the turbinates within the nose. Some cases can be treated with less invasive methods, such as cauterization, coblation, and radiofrequency reduction, whereas others require invasive surgery.

Cauterization, Coblation, and Radiofrequency Reduction

In minor cases, doctors recommend surgeries that shrink the turbinates without removing any underlying bone or tissue. These procedures require the use of a special needle-like device that heats the turbinates using a heat source or energy waves. This causes scar tissue to form, reducing the turbinates’ size. Cauterization, coblation, and radiofrequency reduction procedures usually take about 10 minutes; plus, no special preparation is needed and it can be performed under local anesthesia in a surgeon’s office.

Surgical Removal

In more severe cases, a doctor may recommend that parts of the turbinates be surgically removed. These procedures are usually done in an operating room under general anesthesia. During this kind of nasal turbinate reduction, a surgeon cuts into the turbinates to remove some of the bone beneath them to reduce their overall size. A small, handheld device may also aid in the procedure to shave away some of the tissue around your turbinates, further opening your nasal cavity.

About Allergy & ENT Associates

At Allergy ENT & Associates, we take pride in our advanced turbinate removal procedures throughout the Houston, Texas, area. Our expert board-certified professionals take the time to work with you to find the ideal solution for your allergies, ENT issues, or asthma. With over 15 locations throughout Texas, we strive to offer expert care and treatment in convenient locations for you. To experience the difference in quality care and services, learn more information about our nasal turbinates removal procedure, and find a sinus doctor near you, call (713) 697-4687 to schedule an appointment with one of our ENT specialists.