Is turbinate reduction typically done on one side or both?

I don't really have a problem breathing, and I get nervous about procedure since turbinates moisturize air we breathe.

Doctor Answers 9

Turbinate Reduction

Dear popcorn pumpkin, Turbinate surgery is done basically as directed by the patients personal diagnosis. The turbinates may be in-fractured, or partially resected depending on the patients needs. Whether this is bilateral or unilateral also depends on the diagnosis. Breathing and proper moisture to the nose is always taken into consideration when performing this procedure. As with many procedures less is more and an expert in this field will be able to determine the proper surgical plan. Best regards, Michael V. Elam, M.D.

Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 196 reviews

Is turbinate reduction typically done on one side or both?

This depends on whether one or both turbinates are enlarged. If you have no trouble breathing you should not have either turbinate reduced. While turbinate reduction is safe, no procedure is without risk. I hope this information is helpful for you.

Stephen Weber MD, FACS
Denver Facial Plastic Surgeon

Turbinate surgery

There is a trend to less turbinate surgery than in the past. You need your turbinates to hydrate the air stream entering your nose. Also, the turbinates will decrease in size if the septum is adjusted on that side. 

Leland Deane, MD
Long Island Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Enlarged Inferior Turbinate Management

Inferior turbinates can be reduced on one or both sides and can be treated by heat reduction, out fracture or partial or total excision. Which is best is determined by their size and what nasal airflow obstruction they are causing. 

Is turbinate reduction typically done on one side or both?

Turbinate reduction can be performed on one or both sides depending on the patient's anatomy. If the turbinate does not block the airway, there is no reason to reduce it. Surgery should always be individualized.

I would suggest that you find a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) or a facial plastic surgeon (otolaryngologist) with extensive experience in rhinoplasty surgery that they trust and are comfortable with. You should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person.

Robert Singer, MD FACS

La Jolla, California

Robert Singer, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Turbinate reduction

The turbinates help humidify and warm up the air we breathe. However, if they are too large, they can cause nasal obstruction. They are frequently reduced in size to help improve nasal air flow.  If there is no nasal obstruction, the turbinates do not need to be reduced. You should discuss with your surgeon to find out of you need to have them reduced or not. 

P. Daniel Ward, MD
Salt Lake City Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Is Turbinate Reduction Done on One Sde or Bilaterally?

Turbinate reduction is done whenever necessary unilaterally or bilaterally. I frequently use this technique as part of rhinoplasty surgery.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Turbinate reduction

 Turbinate reduction can be performed on either one side or both sides  of the nose. Turbinate reduction is only performed when patients have nasal obstruction that is unresponsive to medical management. Turbinate reduction can be performed as a stand-alone procedure, with a septoplasty for a deviated septum or when performing a rhinoplasty for cosmetic purposes

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

Is turbinate reduction typically done on one side or both?

You stated that you do not have a problem breathing.  Based on that information, you may not be a good candidate for turbinate reduction. Discuss this with your surgeon.  

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 55 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.