What is a Septoplasty and a Bilteral Tubinectomy?

I was wondering what a septoplasty and a bilteral tubinectomy were?

Doctor Answers 11

Septoplasty and turbinate surgery: what are they?

When a nasal septum is deviated it may partially block air flow in the nose. When a turbinate is enlarged it can also impair breathing. Sometimes surgery can improve the position of the septum (septoplasty) and also the size and position of the turbinates (turbinate resection or repositioning).  Noses need the septum for anatomic support so it is important to leave a strong and adequate portion. Likewise, turbinates are important in warming, humidification and filtering air so they should not be aggressively removed. Additional maneuvers may also improve airflow (spreader or batten grafts) by making key portions of the airway larger. An experienced nasal surgeon will explain the best options for each individual patient. 

Louisville Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

What is a Septoplasty and Turbinectomy?

A septoplasty is a procedure which modifies the nasal septum, the structure or wall which separates your nasal airway.  The septum consists of bone and cartilage, with each possibly having abnormalities which can block your airway.  By correcting these abnormalities, and repositioning the septum in a mid line position, your breathing can be improved.  The turbinates are structures present in both nasal cavities which function to humidify inspired air.  They are very susceptible to environmental allergens and can become inflamed and swollen.  This swelling can be treated medically, but many times the "architecture" of the turbinate needs to be remodeled surgically to further reduce their size.  Septoplasty and turbinectomy are excellent procedures which can significantly help patients with breathing difficulties.  Good Luck, Dr. Corrado

Anthony Corrado, DO
Philadelphia Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Septoplasty and Bilateral Turbinoplasty

The nasal septum is the supporting wall between the nostrils that separates the two nasal passages and directs airflow.  The septum is made of thin bone in the back and cartilage in the front. There are very few people have a perfectly straight septum. As a part of human development during childhood and puberty, the nasal septum can bend to one side or another. Also, the septum may be deviated at birth or as a result of injury.
Surgery to straighten the septum is called Septoplasty. Before surgery, the doctor may use an endoscope (a thin, flexible, lighted instrument) to look at your nasal passages to see the shape of your septum. In some cases, the endoscope may be used during surgery. In some cases, the Septoplasty is done along with other procedures to treat chronic sinusitis, inflammation, nasal bleeding, correction of sleep apnea, or polyp removal.
To repair the septum, the doctor works through the nostrils making an incision to separate the layer of soft tissue (mucosa) from the underlying cartilage and bone. The doctor trims or straightens the bent cartilage and then replaces the mucosa over the cartilage and bone.

Turbinates are curved, boney ridges that are located on each side of the nasal cavity. They are lined with mucus membranes and are responsible for moisturizing and warming the air that flows through the nasal cavity. Enlarged turbinates can cause blockage of airway passages and prevent the sinuses from draining properly.

The first line of treatment for enlarged turbinates is steroid nasal sprays, such as Flonase. If there continues to be persistent nasal obstruction despite medical treatment, the size of the turbinates can be reduced surgically. Turbinoplasties are done under a general anesthetic in an out patient surgery setting. Tiny incisions are first made inside the nose. The turbinates are then accessed and excess bone is removed. Excess mucus membranes may also need to be removed. Adequate bone and mucus membranes will be left so that the turbinates can continue to perform their necessary functions.

Following surgery, there is often nasal packing over night and tiny, self-dissolving sutures. Breathing is much easier because of the increased airflow space. Sinuses drain properly again.

Best wishes.

Simon Madorsky, MD

Simon Madorsky, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon

What is a Septoplasty and a Bilteral Tubinectomy?

A Septoplasty is one of many ways to correct an abnormal or malpositioned septum - the partition between the two nasal airways. This can be a septal deviation, fixing a septum injured in a blow to the nose or one injured in a previous nose operation of through the chronic use of Cocaine and other drugs.

The Inferior turbinates are shelves which narrow nasal openings to warm the air as it comes in, trap dust and particulate matter and convert the flow to a laminar flow. When the turbinates are too large they can create a nasal obstruction and removing a large part of the inferior turbinate can open up the airway.

Good Luck

Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

What is septoplasty and turbinectomy

Hi Sahra. Generally speaking, when nasal airway obstruction is thought to be at least partly due to physical obstruction, those two procedures can be undertaken either alone or in combination in an effort to improve nasal breathing. Septoplasty refers to removing or reshaping a portion of the cartilage component of the nasal septum that separates the right from the left nasal airway. It is typically performed when part of the nasal septum (due to a deviation or spur) obstructs the nasal airway and may contribute to nasal breathing obstruction. The turbinates are structures located on the interior sidewalls of the nose. Enlarged turbinates also can contribute to nasal airway obstruction. Turbinectomy generally refers to partial removal of the inferior turbinate(s). I hope that helps. Good luck. 

James M. Pearson, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 131 reviews

What are are a septoplasty and turbinectomy

 Septoplasty is a procedure that removes the deviated, or bent, section of the septum.  The septum is made up of cartilage in the front and bone in the back and is the divider that separates the nose into a right and left nasal cavity. 

 Turbinates are a set of three (in each nasal cavity) cavernous bony structures that warm and humidy the air in the nose.  Allergies can make the largest (inferior turbinate) increase in size leading to an obstruction of the nasal airway on one or both sides.  These turbinates can be resected to decrease their size...a procedure that I quit performing some 20 years ago because of the potentially serious side effects of tissue infection and necrosis.  I prefer to inject a small amount of kenalog 10 just beneath the turbinate mucosa (placed to deep within the cavernous sections it can lead to blindness in rare occassions) so the turbinate atrophies (becomes smaller).

Hope this helps.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Septoplasty and Tubinectomy

Basically these are procedures which are more function in nature than the cosmetic rhinoplasty.  However, they are often combined with a cosmetic rhinoplasty to help with breathing or other function components of the nose.  


Good Luck.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Septoplasty and tubinectomy

The nasal septum is the divider which separates the nose into right and left sides. Surgery on the septum is referred to as a septoplasty, a procedure meant to straighten the septum and improve the airflow through the nose. Inside the nose are turbinates which turn the air to humidify and warm the air stream. Some surgeons will remove the lower turbinates, turbinectomy, however this is controversial, as the nose may dry and become chronically irritated.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews


The turbinates are shelves of bone covered with mucous membranes inside the nose that humidify, filter, and warm the inspired air. When excessively large, the turbinates can cause nasal obstruction. The obstruction caused by turbinates typically fluctuates from one side to another. The turbinates can be surgically reduced to improve nasal obstruction.

Sam Naficy, MD, FACS
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 221 reviews

What is a Septoplasty and Bilateral Turbinectomy?

These are two separate procedures which are often done during rhinoplasty or septorhinoplasty surgery to help with breathing. The septoplasty is a surgery performed on the septum which is basically the partition between the two sides of the nose. The septum is often deviated or crooked which can lead to breathing disorders and needs to be straightened. The turbinates are structures in both (bilateral) cavities which help in the function of humidifying the nose. If they are to big or swollen due to allergies or other factors they can disrupt proper breathing function as well. A partial resection of the turbinates along with septoplasty can help restore proper breathing function to the nose.

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 210 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.