Our sinuses have three turbinates (superior, middle, and inferior) on each side of the nose. Also known as nasal conchae, the long bone shelves protrudes into the breathing airway of the nose and help to clean and humidify air as it travels to the lungs.
Allergies, infection, or sinusitis can cause the turbinates to become enlarged, obstructing breathing and causing a whole host of undesirable symptoms. The condition, called turbinate hypertrophy, can be treated by Dr. Bradford Ress in Boca Raton, FL through a minimally invasive in-office procedure called turbinate reduction.
Symptoms of Turbinate Hypertrophy
Turbinate hypertrophy can cause symptoms that are similar to a cold. One telltale feature of this condition is persistent nasal congestion. Additional symptoms (which can range from mild to serious) include:
- Stuffy nose
- Chronic sinus infections
- Breathing difficulties
- Reduced sense of smell
- Sinus pressure
- Runny nose
A Look at Turbinate Reduction Surgery
This surgery can be performed at our clinic using local anesthesia. Most patients report minimal discomfort associated with this procedure. In the days or weeks before your surgery, Dr. Ress may advise you on which medications you should refrain from using. You may be instructed to not eat or drink the night before your procedure.
During your procedure, Dr. Ress will employ an endoscope to view your sinuses during surgery. A special tool will be used to remove small amounts of underlying bone from the turbinate. A separate tool will be used to cauterize any incisions to control bleeding. Dr. Ress will provide recovery instructions before you are released to return home to rest. The entire procedure usually takes less than 30 minutes to complete. If the procedure is paired with a septoplasty to correct a deviated septum, the operation will take longer.
In the days following turbinate reduction surgery, it is important to keep your sinuses from drying out as they heal. A humidifier or saline nasal spray may be prescribed. Total recovery time will vary from person to person. Most patients recover quickly with minimal discomfort. Total recovery usually takes around three weeks.
As a general precaution, patients should refrain from strenuous activities and nose blowing for one month or as advised by Dr. Ress. You may also want to sleep with your head elevated for the first few days after surgery.
Tips for Preventing Turbinate Hypertrophy
If you are prone to inflammation in your sinuses, these steps may help you prevent the onset of turbinate hypertrophy.
- Reduce allergens at home by removing dust and pet dander
- Place fabric-covered toys and bedding in the freezer for 24 hours to kill dust mites.
- Refrain from smoking indoors
- Use mildew-killing cleaners in areas of high humidity (bathroom, kitchen)
- Invest in high-quality HEPA filters
- Restrict pets from bedrooms
- Flush your sinuses with saline water
Contact Our Office Today
One benefit of turbinate reduction surgery is that relief from sneezing, headaches, congestion, and other symptoms are longterm.
If you have experienced prolonged nasal congestion, you may have turbinate hypertrophy or sinusitis. Left untreated, both these conditions can lead to more serious complications. During your examination, Dr. Ress will examine your sinuses while inquiring about your symptoms to determine if you are suffering from turbinate hypertrophy. To schedule your appointment or consultation, contact our Boca Raton, FL office online or call (561) 353-7377.