Can Turbinate Reduction Make the External Nose Appear Thinner?

I have asked 2 nurses and 1 ENT doctor about it (bilateral inferior turbinate reduction) so far out of curiousity. They all have told me it depends on how much obstruction there is in the first place. Like similar to if someone punched me on the arm, I would get a big bruise, but it will shrink over time ( bruise= my turbinates) But i have yet to see any questions like this on google search. Mine is very obstructive.

Doctor Answers 3

Inferior turbinate reduction will not shrink your nose

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The inferior turbinates help to humidify the air as it passes through your nasal cavity. Sometimes, these get inflamed and enlarge due to allergy, infection, or some other irritation.  This path can often lead to nasal obstructive symptoms.  Treatment of this problems starts with addressing the cause, such as avoiding allergens, using nasal saline rinses, and sometimes using nasal steroids or anti-histamines.


When all else fails, surgical tubinate reduction is an excellent solution to nasal obstruction due to large turbinates. Since these structures are completely on the inside of the nose and do not provide any support to the shape of the nose, shrinking the turbinates does not cause any change in nasal size or shape.

Miami Plastic Surgeon

Turbinate Reduction will not reduce size of Nose

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Reducing the turbinates will help improve your breathing however they will not reduce the size or width of the nose. The analogy given above does not work with the nasal anatomy. Best regards, Michael V. Elam, M.D.

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 218 reviews

Cosmetic Effect of Turbinate Reduction

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Reduction in size of your turbinates which are located inside your nostrils will improve your breathing but will have no effect on the appearance of your nose

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