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Should I Have my Inferior Turbinates - Bilateral Reduced?

My rhinoplasty surgeon is going to charge $2800 extra to reduce the inferior turbinates to help with breathing. I am already getting him to fix my deviated septum which is the main prob, so I'm not sure if I should take this off the 'To Do List' and save almost $3,000. This surgeon is really good, so I am going to still use him, but I'm wondering just how much reducing those will help my breathing... Seems to me this is a 'tack on' charge and I'm seriously considering having him not trim them.

Doctor Answers (12)

Inferior turbinates -bilateral reduction

+1

The nasal obstruction can be from either a deviated septum or turbinate hypertrophy, in many instances it is caused by both.  A deviated septum is often caused by trauma to the septum, causing it to become crooked such that it blocks airflow out of the nose 1 or both sides.  Turbinate hypertrophy can be caused by allergies, sinus infections, inhaled dust, hormones, altitude, and air pressure changes.  While there is a charge for turbinate surgery, $3,000 seems a little excessive. Turbinate surgery is only necessary if nasal obstruction is caused directly by the turbinates themselves.  It might be best to have a second opinion to determine if they need to be done.


Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Is Inferior Turbinate Reduction Necessary?

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Inferior turbinate reduction when doing a rhinoplasty and maintaining or improving the nasal airway is almost always beneficial because this maneuver will increase the size of the patient's airway. You can get a second opinion; however,  If you trust your surgeon to do your rhinoplasty do not second guess him.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Inferior Turbinectomy

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Airway obstruction in the nose is largely due to septal deviation and/or inferior turbinate hypertrophy. Turbinate surgery for airway obstruction is often covered by insurance. Before paying $2800 for your surgery, you may look into whether or not your health insurance covers such a procedure. 

William A. Wallace, MD, FACS
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

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Turbinate Reduction with Septorhinoplasty

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The inferior turbinates often contribute to nasal obstruction, especially if you have a deviated septum, and having them addressed as part of your nasal surgery makes sense.  In our part of the country, it is reimbursed by insurance, albeit at only about one fifth of the price you were quoted!  If you are paying out of pocket, this fee should be negotiated with your surgeon.

Alternatively, you could defer the turbinate reduction and wait to see if you are still congested after healing from surgery.  If you are, then consider seeing an Otolaryngologist, who should be able to reduce the turbinates with radiofrequency cautery in the office under local anesthesia at a fraction of the cost you were quoted.  Hope this information helps!

James Bartels, MD
Manchester Facial Plastic Surgeon
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Should I Have my Inferior Turbinates - Bilateral Reduced?

+1

I have performed Rhinoplasty for over 20 years and never trim the inferior turbinates but rather place kenalog 10 submucosally along the anterior portion of the turbinate to shrink them.  Hope this helps.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Turbinate Resection/Reduction

+1

If your main goal is improving your nasal breathing, then you should strongly consider having the turbinates reduced or resected.  This will contribute to improving your nasal breathing. 

Kimberly Lee, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Turbinate surgery

+1

Turbinate reduction is commonly done with septoplasty if airway improvement is a goal of the surgery and the turbinate membranes have not responded to medical therapy.  It is something that could be done at a later stage if septal surgery alone does not help  you and you are hesitant to proceed.

Michael L. Schwartz, MD
West Palm Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Turbinate resection during rhinoplasty

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Turbinate resection is very effective way to relieve airway obstruction.  The side effects of over-resection are devastating, including foul smelling crusts (ozema) and "empty nose syndrome".  Be sure your surgeon has had a lot of experience with this procedure.

Airway surgery such as turbinate resection is often covered by insurance.

Daniel Greenwald, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Rhinoplasty and enlarged turbinates

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Reduction of the turbinates is a common procedure for improving the nasal airway and is very commonly done in association with a septoplasty.  With a septoplasty, the septum is moved towards the good side.  The turbinate usually needs to be reduced to keep the good side open.  Never have the turbinate removed; it should only be reduced. The turbinates warm and humidify air.  If the turbinate is removed, you will likely develop the "empty nose" syndrome.  Make sure your doctor is board-certified in Facial Plastics.

Good luck!

David Alessi, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Correction of turbinates will only improve breathing problems

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The turbinates function to humidify the air in the nose as you breathe.  When the turbinates get large they can obstruct your breathing.   In many situations it helps to either remove an enlarge turbinate or try to shrink it down.  This can be done using a radiofrequency type device known as cold coblation.  Your surgeon is in the best position to know if this is a necessary portion of your rhinoplasty procedure.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
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These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.