Can a turbinate reduction improve my breathing after Rhinoplasty?
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Doctor Answers 7
Turbinate reduction post rhinoplasty
There are a number of causes for difficulty breathing thru your nose.
One involves collapse of the internal nasal valve correction here includes placement of a Sheen cartilage spreader graft .
Another cause is a deviated septum. Treatment includes straightening the septum.
It's not uncommon for pt's with a deviated septum to have concomitant enlargement of the inferior turbinates. In this scenario I would fix the septum but would avoid reducing the turbinate. The reason for this is that many of these pt's will see a reduction in the size of their turbinate after surgery . If the turbinate remains large after surgery then you may be a candidate for an anterior inferior turbinectomy .
For more information on noses please see the accompanying video on noses. I hope you find this useful.
Turbinate reduction can help breathing but also can cause more problems if not done correctly
Turbinate resection after rhinoplasty
If nasal decongestant spray such as Afrin or Neosynephrine does not improve breathing then the problem is likely in the valve area and not the turbinates.
Be sure to see a surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery for a thorough evaluation.
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Turbinate reduction to improve breathing after rhinoplasty
A facial plastic surgeon would be able to provide the best overall advice in your situation after an examination and some discussion with you to get a better idea of the history of your symptoms and what has or has not worked best for you so far. The reason for this is that most facial plastic surgeons have a background in ENT training and board certification in that specialty as well. A general ENT doctor can provide great advice as well, but if that person does not perform rhinoplasty or has a limited understanding of it his or her ability to advise you on everything might be limited.
There is more to it than just the turbinates. Since you say your nasal breathing has been worse since having a rhinoplasty one would assume that there have been some structural changes related to that. In that situation you might need to consider revision rhinoplasty procedures for the greatest improvement, but turbinate reduction alone might be enough to get decent improvement in your nasal obstruction. It will do nothing to change nostril asymmetry though.
You mention that you experienced breathing complications following your primary rhinoplasty. It may be necessary to reverse or correct those problems from surgery in order to fully restore normal breathing. Be sure to consult with an experienced facial plastic surgeon who understands both the cosmetic and functional aspects of the nose. Good luck!
Turbinate reduction can improve breathing if an enlarged turbinate is the cause of your nasal airway obstruction. Sometimes the tissue overlying the turbinate is boggy and engorged because of allergies and this can improve with afrin administration. This test can be done in the office. If it is given and the breathing does not improve, it suggests the turbinate could be enlarged because of the bony component of the turbinate or that the airway is obstructed for another reason like a deviated septum, bony spur or nasal airway narrowing from the upper lateral cartilage. An examination with a board certified plastic surgeon can help answer this question. Best of luck, MMT
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.