Functional Rhinoplasty: What Is Turbinate Reduction?


As you breathe through your nose, small structures known as turbinates help to clean and humidify the air. Turbinates are essential for proper nasal breathing. Unfortunately, in some patients these turbinates are enlarged and interfere with proper airflow. Turbinate reduction, a type of functional rhinoplasty, can reduce the size of the turbinates and improve breathing. Ask us if turbinate reduction is right for you.

Do I Need Turbinate Reduction?

Enlarged turbinates, a condition known as turbinate hypertrophy, are very common. Signs you have an airway obstruction and possibly enlarged turbinates include:

  • Congested or blocked nasal breathing
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Snoring
  • Trouble breathing at night
  • Chronic nosebleeds
  • Chronic sinus infections
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Headaches
  • Dry mouth

If you struggle with any of these problems, come see us. Enlarged turbinates may be causing your breathing difficulties or we may find another problem. Whatever the cause of your airway obstruction, functional rhinoplasty can help you to breathe easier.

What Are My Treatment Options for Enlarged Turbinates?

If you have enlarged turbinates, a consultation is your best next step. After an examination Dr. Epstein can explain your treatment options. Some patients may be able to benefit from medication to reduce the swelling around the turbinates and improve breathing. Radio-frequency treatments may be used to reduce turbinate size. He may also recommend turbinate reduction, a surgical procedure where the size of the turbinates are reduced. Complete removal is not typically recommended as the turbinates play an important role in your breathing.

Turbinate reduction can be performed on its own. It is also commonly paired with septoplasty (or surgical correction of a deviated septum) and/or cosmetic rhinoplasty.

Improve your breathing so you can feel better. Call and schedule your functional rhinoplasty consultation at MAE Plastic Surgery today.