Individuals who are experiencing chronic congestion, blocked breathing through their nose, nosebleeds, sinus infections, and/or troubled breathing at night should seek the advice of an ENT specialist. In many cases, the problem stems from a deviated septum and/or turbinate hypertrophy. For this reason, it is common for ENT surgeons to perform septoplasty and turbinate reduction surgery in conjunction.
The nasal turbinates are small structures within your nose that work to humidify and keep your nasal passages clean as air passes through to your lungs. When these turbinates are enlarged beyond normal size, nasal obstruction can occur. Many patients with enlarged nasal turbinates also have deviated septums. The septum is the thin wall of cartilage that separates your right and left nasal passages. If your septum significantly deviates from the center of your nasal passages, you may experience difficulty breathing or may develop other chronic problems. By straightening the septum through septoplasty and reducing the size of the turbinates (turbinoplasty), most patients find significant relief from their previous symptoms.
Septoplasty and turbinate reduction surgery are performed using local or general anaesthesia. Most surgeries can be performed using local anesthesia with light sedation. However, for some patients, in particular young children, general anesthesia is more practical.
Convalescence includes avoiding high-impact activities for a few weeks after the procedure. Ice packs will also help to reduce swelling and alleviate any pain felt post surgery. Your doctor will have additional advice depending on the extent of your surgery. It is important to follow this advice since the success of the procedure depends on both the surgery itself and post-surgery care. Factors such as only using the pain relief medication that your doctor prescribes are imperative for your health and for the recovery process. It is also important to follow up with postoperative visits to your ENT doctor to ensure that you are healing properly.