What is Turbinectomy and What Should You Expect?

What is Turbinectomy and What Should You Expect?

June 5, 2020
Turbinectomy is a type of surgery that is performed with the aim of removing all or some of the patient’s turbinates. The conchae, which also refers to the turbinates, are small skeletal structures that are found inside the nasal cavity. These structures clean, humidify, and warm the air as it flows through the nostrils on its way to the lungs. They are about three or four turbinates in the nasal chamber.

Reasons Why You Need Turbinectomy Surgery

Health professionals may recommend turbinectomy surgery to their patients so as to:
  • Treat sleep apnea
  • Ease chronic congestion in the nasal cavity
  • Minimize snoring
  • Correct a septum that has deviated
  • Adjust the patient’s airflow to minimize nosebleeds
Turbinectomy is usually suggested after conservative treatments such as allergic rhinitis and nasal steroids have failed in addressing the problem.

What is Going to Happen During the Surgery?

This surgery is conducted inside the operating room while the patient is under anesthesia. Both of your nostrils will be the access route for the surgeons to your turbinates. Below are the varieties of tools and special medical techniques that will be used during the surgery:
  • A microdebrider – This is a rotating cutting equipment used to shave tissues and bones.
  • An endoscope – It is a flexible, thin tubing fitted with both a camera and a light on its end.
  • Radio frequency – This technique involves heating and destroying tissue with an electric current that runs at a high frequency.
  • Cauterization – This is another technique that deals in the removal of tissue or its closing off through burning.
Depending on the condition of the patient, the conchae may be removed (turbinectomy) or reduced. At times, doctors may also recommend going for other procedures like septoplasty, which repositions a septum that has departed from its established course or sinus surgery.

What to Expect After the Turbinectomy Procedure?

A turbinectomy procedure will take about two hours and patients are allowed to leave the hospital few hours after the surgery. However, turbinectomy recovery can last longer if your condition is severe or if there are other procedures that are being done at that same time. After the surgery, patients may experience:
  • Soreness or discomfort
  • Bruising around the eyes and nose
  • Numbness on the upper lip, or the gums, or in the tip of the nose
  • Swelling of either the eyes, nose, or cheeks
To ease the above symptoms, the medical practitioner might:
  • Prescribe some medications
  • Suggest that you use get a nasal spray that’s saline
  • Suggest the use of cool-mist humidifiers
  • Recommend applying petroleum jelly around the nostrils
People who have undergone this surgical procedure are advised to avoid:
  • Smiling
  • Too much talking
  • Hard chewing
  • Strenuous exercise
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs that are nonsteroidal
People who adhere to the instructions given by the doctors are likely to return back to school or work in a week’s time but it will take up to three weeks before they resume their normal life routine.

When to Seek Medical Attention After Surgery

If you get to experience any of the symptoms below, call you doctor immediately:
  • Non-stop bleeding.
  • Worsening or new pain
  • Any sign that may indicate the possibility of an infection. Such signs are fever, draining pus, pain, warmth, or increased redness.
Ask someone to call for emergency services if you:
  • Feel short of breath or experience sudden chest pains
  • Have severe breathing difficulties
  • Cough-up blood
  • Lose consciousness

The Takeaway

If you are suffering from extreme nasal congestion or sleep apnea, going for a turbinectomy might be one of the best options for you. Visit South Florida ENT Associates clinic, located in Jupiter, Florida, USA, for a turbinectomy surgery, allergy testing, and sinus treatment among many more. At our facility, your satisfaction is our first priority.

How to Take Care of Yourself When You Get Home?

  • Avoid activities that will be strenuous to your body for not less than 7 days.
  • Do not drive if you are taking any prescribed pain medicine.
  • Avoid bending over or lifting anything that weighs more than 4.5 Kgs for a week.
  • Go for a walk every day. Increase your walking distance bit by bit each day. Walking helps to prevent constipation and pneumonia and it also boosts the blood flow.
  • Take a rest whenever you feel exhausted. Getting adequate sleep will aid your recovery. When you sleep, use pillows on your head to avoid lying flat. This helps to reduce swelling.