Inferior Turbinate Surgery
The inferior turbinates are bony structures found in all people. They are lined with mucosa. and function to filter, warm and humidify the air we breathe.
Inferior turbinate reduction
In some children, they can swell and cause nasal obstruction. This can occur with allergies or at night when lying in the dependent position. Surgery may be indicated when medications can no longer control a child's symptoms
Indications for inferior turbinate surgery
- Nasal obstruction
- Allergic rhinitis
What to expect with the procedure
Inferior turbinate reduction surgery is performed under general anaesthetic in a hospital. It is done endoscopically entirely through the nose, with no external incisions or bruising. There are several ways to reduce the size of the turbinates. In younger children a special instrument is used to deliver radio frequency energy to the internal structure of the turbinate to shrink it down. In older children and adults, part of the bone and mucosa is normally removed. This generally has a longer lasting effect. Dissolvable packing is usually applied after surgery to reduce any post-operative ooze. The procedure normally takes 30 minutes.
After a short period in recovery, your child will be transferred to a ward. Here he/she will be observed for 24 hours before being discharged home. It is not uncommon to have some oozing from the nose and to feel a little obstructed initially. Following review the next morning your child will be discharged home with post-operative medications. The nursing staff will show him/her how to preform post-operative Flo- Sinus irrigations which are essential for post-operative healing.
Most children surprisingly do not experience too much pain from surgery and typically only require paracetamol when they are discharged home from hospital. Stronger pain relief is prescribed if required. Due to the internal swelling from the surgery, it is not unusual to feel congested for the first week after surgery and experience bloody ooze from the nose. I recommend your child irrigate your nose with FLO sinus irrigation 2-4x day to remove any clots and dissolve the packing material. Usually children will require 1 week off school.
I will usually review your child at 6 weeks after the procedure.