Turbinate Reduction Surgery

Dr. Etai Funk is double-board-certified as both a facial plastic surgeon and an ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeon. His impeccable credentials and range of experience make him one of Houston's best nose surgeons and ensures that his patients will receive a new nose that improves both appearance and function. A common nose procedure to improve function is a turbinate reduction surgery (also known as turbinoplasty or turbinectomy).

Turbinates are structures that humidify and moisten the air as it passes through the nose. There are three turbinates on each side of the nose, but the inferior turbinates are the ones that cause most of the congestion and reaction with allergies. These turbinates are the ones that are most often reduced during nose surgery or rhinoplasty.

For Houston patients, more of the turbinates can be reduced during rhinoplasty due to the humid climate. In colder climates where the air is dryer, turbinate reduction should be more conservative.

Why have a turbinate reduction surgery?

Some patients may have reactions to allergies or a large nasal turbinate that can obstruct nasal airways and cause a persistent congested feeling. A turbinate reduction surgery reduces the turbinate size to allow for easier breathing and can also reduce nasal drainage and postnasal drip.

How do I know if I need nasal turbinate surgery?

If you are having symptoms of chronic nasal congestion, difficulty breathing, constant runny nose, post nasal drip, or severe allergies, turbinate hypertrophy may be causing these issues. An evaluation by an ear, nose and throat surgeon is the best place to start to see if you are a good candidate for turbinate reduction surgery.

Can I have a deviated septum and large turbinates?

Very commonly, septoplasty, or surgery for a deviated septum is performed at the same time as turbinate reduction. Sometimes, if the septum is significantly deviated to one side, the turbinate will become more swollen or hypertrophic on the other side as it has room to expand. One can have both a deviated septum and enlarged turbinates or just one of these issues alone.

Will a turbinate reduction change the appearance of my nose?

Turbinate reduction should not change the appearance of your nose.

Is turbinate surgery covered by insurance?

Depending on your benefits (deductible, etc.), insurance will pay for a certain portion of the functional components of your rhinoplasty such as septoplasty or turbinate reduction if you have breathing problems. Insurance will not pay for any cosmetic changes made to the shape of the nose.

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