Published: Mar. 8, 2007
Updated: Feb. 15, 2010
Turbinates are soft tissue sponges that exist within the nose. In patients with severe allergies or other problems, the turbinates can swell to a large size, resulting in inability to breathe through the nose.
If this is your problem, a turbinectomy or turbinate reduction may be recommended.
During a turbinate reduction, the soft tissue sponges are reduced in size. The undersurface may then be cauterized to prevent significant bleeding. In some patients packing will be applied for 24 hours.
The packs are small, soft sponges, that are gently removed on the morning after the procedure.
After undergoing turbinate reduction, it is important that the nose stay very moist. You will therefore be asked to irrigate your nose every two hours while awake.
Most patients experience minimal discomfort with turbinate reductions, and improvement in their breathing comes within two to six weeks after the procedure.