Will Rhinoplasty Fix Enlarged Turbinates and Seasonal Allergies?

If I Have Enlarged Turbinates and Suffer from Seasonal Allergies, Would Rhinoplasty Be a Way to Fix Both of These Problems?

Doctor Answers 16

Nasal Function versus Form

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The issues you present are actually distinct from problems typically addressed in a Rhinoplasty. In fact, most primary Rhinoplasty operations are designed to make a smaller nose, which can create difficulty breathing in some patients.

Allergies are a tissue problem resulting from inflammation and swelling. The allergen creates a reaction, which then results in symptoms. Allergy treatments, such as prescription nose sprays, antihistamines, and potentially immunotherapy (allergy shots) can be very effective in alleviating those symptoms. However, the congestion can also be addressed with surgery on the inferior turbinates. This surgery, however, does not typically solve sneezing, itching, or running of the nose due to allergies.

A turbinate procedure is an excellent choice for patients that have allergies. It is also good for patients that have nasal obstruction that worsens at night. Most patietns with enlarged turbinates will have alternating nasal obstruction due to the nasal cycle. This is a natural reflex in which the nose alternates the side that is more open several times throughout the day. It should not result in significant discomfort, unless you have enlarged turbinates.

So the issues you describe are funtional primarily, while Rhinoplasty is typically more about the form or look of the nose. I suggest you see a qualified nasal surgeon and have your specific issue explained in more detail.


Best of luck

Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Rhinoplasty and functional nasal surgery

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A rhinoplasty is performed for cosmetic purposes to reshape, refine, and improve the cosmetic appearance of the external portion of the nose.  Turbinate surgery is performed for medical reasons such as congestion and poor airflow through the nose.  Allergies are treated medically with antihistamines and cortisone nasal sprays.  Both functional and cosmetic nasal surgery can be performed at the same time.  However, allergies are best treated medically and not surgically.  

To experiment with virtual rhinoplasty, download our iPhone app free of charge!  Just enter "Seattle Plastic Surgery with Dr. Portuese" for search terms.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Enlarged turbinates and seasonal allergies Rhinoplasty fix

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Rhinoplasty by itself will not "fix" your seasonal allergies and turbinates.   Your turbinates can be reduced in size by a number of different methods during your rhinoplasty surgery.  This may improve your breathing if enlarged turbinates are causing your breathing obstruction.  Surgery will not "fix" your seasonal allergies which are a medical condition requiring management with medications like antihistamines and nasal steroid use. 

James C. Marotta, MD
Long Island Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Will rhinoplasty fix allergies and enlarged turbinates?

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Rhinoplasty does not typically include reduction of turbinates however when I perform a Rhinoplasty and I find that the patient has enlarged turbinates with restricted airways, I will address the turbinates as part of my Rhinoplasty. The last thing I want is to do a Rhinoplasty to improve the appearance of the nose and worsen a breathing problem. If a septal deviation is causing the airway obstruction, that should be fixed too.

Rhinoplasty and allergies

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Rhinoplasty will not help enlarged turbinates or allergies. Treatment of these conditions is a medical issue although if the problem is chronic it can be improved by turbinate reduction surgery which can be done at the same time, but not usually part of, the rhinoplasty operation. In fact, because there is usually some narrowing of the nose in rhinoplasty it may even make your breathing more difficult if these issues are not properly evaluated prior to surgery.

Andrew Pichler, MD
Sacramento Facial Plastic Surgeon

Rhinoplasty Fixes the Outside. Turbinate and Septoplasty Improves Breathing

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Hello, Sacramento friend.

Rhinoplasty is the operation to change the appearance of the nose; the so-called " nose job". Purely cosmetic; of no help with blocked breathing or allergies or sinus problems.

However, if  allergies are plaguing you, and medications have not helped the nasal blockage and congestion, the internal operation-- septoplasty and turbinate resection may help. However, you do require a thorough exam to determine if, in fact, the surgery will help.

Years ago, I had an MD as a patient who inappropriately credited me with " curing my allergies". No, I did not cure his allergies but by employing septoplasty and turbinate resection to enlarge the air passages, even when the interior lining of the nose swelled due to allergies, he still had plenty of room to breathe.

Hope this helps. Check it out.

Best wishes.

Robert Kotler, MD, FACS


Robert Kotler, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Rhinoplasty and allergies

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Dear Boosted,

Rhinoplasty is a surgery to cosmetically change the outside of the nose and does not necessarily do anything at all to the inside of the nose.  Structural problems of the inside of the nose (i.e. septum, turbinates, sinuses) can also be fixed with surgery. However, this surgery is not called rhinoplasty. 

Allergies cause the mucous membranes inside of the nose to swell and are treated with medicines.  It is important that the correct problem be diagnosed so that the proper treatment can be outlined.  While many people with allergies may also have structural problems of the nose, there are people with allergies who have no structural problems, just as there are people who have structural problems of the nose who do NOT have allergies.

Structural problems are fixed with surgery.  Allergies are treated with medicines.  When there is a combination problem, there is a combined solution.  Fixing the structure in surgery, allows ongoing treatment to focus only on the allergic/systemic and mucosal problems.

Best of luck,

Dr. Michelle Yagoda, Upper East Side ENT and Facial Plastic Surgeon

Michelle R. Yagoda, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon

Rhinoplasty for Enlarged Turbinates and Seasonal Allergies

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Enlarged turbinates can be reduced and a septal deviation can be corrected but these priocedures are not part  of a rhinoplasty. This will not improve seasonal allergies, but the allergy attacks will be less symtomatic because of an improved airway.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Rhinoplasty and turbinate surgery for allergies

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A rhinoplasty itself doesn't address the turbinates. A rhinoplasty involves changing the outward appearance and function of the nose.

A septoplasty to straighten the septum and/or turbinate reduction can be done concurrently, however. In my practice, this is a very common occurence.

If you do have an allergic cause for turbinate overgrowth, you may want to see if medical therapy helps your symptoms. Turbinates can re-enlarge over time if there is still untreated allergies. If you're already taking allergy medication a turbinate reduction may help quite a bit depending on what your exam looks like.

Not all rhinoplasty surgeons have as much experience dealing with functional nasal breathing issues, so do your homework if you want both issues addressed at the same time.

Thomas A. Lamperti, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Rhinoplasty, Turbinectomy and Seasonal Allergy

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Seasonal allergy manifests itself through nasal airways, sinuses and eyes. It is controlled by medication, immune therapy or moving away to a different part of the country. Rhinoplasty is a surgery to enhance the external part of the nose and although enlarged turbinates can be caused by seasonal allergy, their reduction cannot get rid of one's allergy, but, it can improve your breathing.

Mohsen Tavoussi, MD, DO
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon

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.