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Bilateral Turbinectomy

Rhinoplasty with bilateral turbinectomy as well as...

Rhinoplasty with bilateral turbinectomy as well as vaser liposuction of upper/lower abs & flanks. I was only looking for aesthetic improvement - my nose had a dorsal hump and a bulbous tip. I've never had any breathing issues whatsoever. My surgeon said he would also "take care" of my enlarged turbinates (actually just one was enlarged).

I'm about a week post-op at this point. Pain from rhinoplasty has been pretty mild but my front abs are more towards the "moderate" pain level from the liposuction. Not sure if a lot of that is from the compression garment that they have me in...haven't been able to remove it even once yet....ug!

As for results, its obviously too early to tell. Splint & garment comes off this Friday and even then, it'll be too premature to rank my satisfaction yet. Right now I am freaking out wondering if I will develop this scary sounding condition called ENS following the turbinate resection. I should've researched it before quickly following the surgeon's plan of action. He sounded so matter-a-fact about it that I thought it was a no-brainer.

Just had a rhinoplasty along with turbinectomy (reduction of both tubinates). When I originally presented, I was simply wanting to improve my aesthetics. He immediately pointed out my enlarged turbinate and said he'd "take care of those" too. During my recovery, I stumbled upon the iatrogenic condition called Empty Nose Syndrome (ENS)..it sounds HORRIBLE & dibilitating! I'm now terrified wondering if I'll develop it too. Is there any probability stats out there? Anything I can do at this point?

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon

He came with solid credentials but I think he failed to describe pros and especially the CONS/RISKS associated with screwing around with the turbinates. There's a reason why ENT docs won't resect them...I should've consulted with one of them first.

3 out of 5 stars Overall rating
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Comments (9)

I would like to hear about how the patient's breathing is now that more than one week has passed. I have not seen a patient with ENS, and don't know of any experienced rhinoplasty surgeon who would knowingly remove more than a portion of one of the 3 or 4 turbinates per side of the nose.
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ENS is real and makes you an absolute crippled person. I am 26 year old and had my inferior turbinates partially removed , about 60% when I was only 17. Since then I have been unable to get sleep because I wake up when I start to dream , as that requires deep breathing and my nose is too open for the whole breathing process to work in a proper fashion. Please do not listen to these ENT's when they say its OK to remove turbinates . Its not. I am a living , suffering example.
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The turbinates are very important structures for respiratory health. They moisten, filter, heat, and sense/direct airflow so your brain knows you are breathing (they are packed with airflow nerves) . The second Doctor's opinion really sums up a very very poor attitude and is why sadly for 20 years more and more people are being diagnosed with ENS. Further that comment is very hurtful to those that are suffering from ENS. Dryness is one aspect of ENS but not even close to the worst and is the one that is managable. Shortness of breath and feeling of suffocation are the worst. Most ENT's today accept this iatrogenic condition and work conservativly to avoid it (this means no surgical removal of the turbinate). Doctor's at the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, etc. all accept it and it is really the only place where patients can go for help. You should get your records and see how much was resected and how. The new consensus is that most ENS patients actually notice breathing problems within the first year after their surgery. If you have no breathing problems now, then you can do your best to keep your nose moist and the remaining tissue health so that it and the nerves do not atrophy Take me for example. I broke my nose playing football a couple years ago and let it heal. Later I developed poor breathing through my right nostril. Unfortunately, I was sold the surgery on my turbinates, as you were, by a poorly skilled ENT march of this year (2009) who resected with scissors 50% of inferior and middle turbinates and then cauterized the remaining tissue. If only I had been informed. I was very athletic and was doing very well in college. I had a internship at a very large tech company. I have been absolutely crippled by this surgery. I feel like I am suffocating 24/7, have constant headaches and am now suffer from sinus infections. I am only 20, there is no cure. My life is on hold until I get nasal implants by Doctor Houser at the Cleveland Clinic. There is no excuse for Doctors to continue to let this happen.
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i would love to know what doctor you went to. i'm thinking about a nose job and i'm not too sure which doc to choose. if you can provide the doc/hospital/clinic that you went to, that would be of great help. thanks!
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Hi looking.int,

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hey do you mind telling what doctor and or hospital i shouldnt go to in minnieaplois?
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Your question is posted on a separate page: Risk of Empty Nose Syndrome from Rhinoplasty with Turbinectomy?

We do list your question on the review as well, so other RealSelf members can respond if they want.

Hope this helps clarify!

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The question I posted to the physicians on this site is in the last paragraph starting with... "Just had a rhinoplasty along with..." Thanks much
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Strange...my procedure review and question got jumbled into one posting and it reads kinda confusing now....sorry about that...this was my first posting.
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