I can't get a straight answer. Will a turbinectomy / turbinate reduction help someone who has congestion when laying down?

I know you cant give me exact advice. I know this is a quick interaction on the internet and not a physical exam. I just want to know in a very general sense, if people who have severe congestion when laying down to sleep where one side swells shut, roll over and the other side swells shut, would benefit from a turbinate reduction? I am fine when I am up and about but laying down one side of my nose swells totally shut. Do people with my symptoms have the odds in their favor of surgery helping?

Doctor Answers 3

Turbinate reduction for airflow improvement

There are many issues inside the nose that can cause nasal obstruction which include turbinate hypertrophy of the middle( Concha Bullosa) and inferior turbinates, a deviated nasal septum, nasal fracture, chronic sinusitis, allergies, nasal polyps, positioning of the head and air pressure changes.  It is best to try medical management first with nasal sprays, antihistamines, and decongestants before undergoing surgical manipulation of the turbinates. If patients have failed medical management, then consider an SMR  turbinectomy to improve  air flow dynamics both on standing up and laying down positions. For more information, please see the link below

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 reviews

Nasal congestion at nighttime

thank you for your question. In normal nasal physiology the blood flow increases through the nose when we lay flat. Estimates are that there is a 20% decline in airflow as a result. Mostly it creates no problem unless there are problems such as a deviated septum or enlarged turbinates. The down nostril is typically more affected. Make sure there's no allergenic bedding, alcohol before bed, and that bedroom windows are closed. A month trial of nasal steroids is worthwhile. Turbinate reduction can be very beneficial with the longest results from submucous resection. Hope that helps. 

Mark Loury, MD, FACS
Fort Collins Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Turbinate reduction

Without an exam, it is difficult to diagnose, however the turbinates can swell up and block the airway on one or both nasal cavities.  It sounds like this may be occurring.

Fred Suess, MD (retired)
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

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.