How do you know if you need an Inferior Turbinate Reduction?

Diagnosis of turbinate hypertrophy can usually be made on your first visit. After taking your history and performing an exam, we can see that your turbinates are enlarged. We may also perform a nasal endoscopy or in-office low-dose CT scan to confirm the diagnosis. If your inferior turbinates do not shrink with nasal sprays such as fluticasone or azelastine you may need an inferior turbinate reduction.

What are Turbinates?

Turbinates are small structures inside the nose that cleanse and humidify the air that passes through the nostrils into the lungs. They are made by a bony structure surrounded by vascular tissue and a mucous membrane outside and can become swollen and inflamed by allergies, irritation, or infection, causing nasal obstruction and producing an excessive amount of mucous, which leads to congestion.

Treatments for Turbinate Hypertrophy

  • Prescriptions 
  • Over-the-counter medications 
  • Nasal Steriods
  • Antihistamines and Decongestants
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery

Inferior Turbinate Reduction Surgery

Dr. Atkins will use a very fine radiofrequency wand, a small suction device, or a laser to remove tissue inside the inferior turbinate. This will improve the nasal airway, allowing patients to breathe easier. This surgery is occasionally performed by itself but is often combined with a septoplasty to completely address nasal obstruction.

We know surgery sounds scary, but many different techniques are used to reduce the size of turbinates. Dr. Atkins uses only minimally invasive techniques — meaning there is no cutting or removing bone.