Pros and Cons of Turbinate Reduction - Septoplasty
If you have had snoring or other nasal airway obstruction, your physician must have told you about Turbinate Reduction Procedure. Turbinate Reduction or Septoplasty is a minor procedure performed on people with frequent sinusitis and nasal congestion. Before jumping to the pros and cons of turbinate reduction surgery, it’s important to know what it is and what causes it.
What are Turbinates?
A turbinate is a set of thin, fleshy projections from the nasal septum inside the nose. They act as natural filters and humidifiers for air before it enters the lungs. Turbinates can be reduced or removed to improve airflow and reduce snoring in some cases.
Plenty of factors can lead to turbinate enlargement, including allergies, weather conditions, smoking, stress, sinus infections, and even hormonal changes. These factors can lead to obstruction of airflow to the lungs causing excessive mucous to accumulate and congest the air passage.
Enlarged turbinates reduce airflow into the lungs, making it difficult to breathe at night when you sleep and resulting in snoring.
What are the Pros of Turbinate Reduction?
Since enlarged turbinate is linked to several issues, a simple procedure can help you alleviate the nasal obstruction. Here are some pros of turbinate reduction procedure for patients of all ages.
1. The surgery will improve your breathing
If you have difficulty breathing or suffer from sleep apnea, turbinate reduction surgery can help with this issue. You may also experience relief of symptoms if you struggle to breathe through the nose due to chronic allergies.
Turbinates that are enlarged could be pressing against other structures in the nasal cavity, causing additional symptoms such as inflammation and pain. Enlarged turbinate can also lead to headaches and runny noses.
Reducing these tissue will relieve pressure on other parts of the septum, improving comfort for people who have had previous sinus surgeries.
2. Less Snoring
If you have sleep apnea or snoring, the turbinate reduction can help alleviate this condition if your enlarged turbinates cause your respiratory distress at night.
Reducing the size of these tissues will make breathing easier for people who struggle with nasal airflow, either due to allergies or Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). There is also an association between snoring and OSA; therefore, reducing large tissue structures in the nose may also reduce snoring.
3. Less Congestion and Headaches
Some people suffer from chronic nasal congestion, making it difficult to breathe through the nose or sleep comfortably at night. This can cause fatigue during the day due to a lack of oxygen intake while sleeping at night.
By reducing the size of turbinates, your breathing will improve, and you may experience relief from sinus pressure that causes headache pain when faced with common triggers such as bright lights, smoky environments, strong smells, etc.
4. Improved Sense of Smell is one of the main pros of Turbinate Reduction
Turbinate reduction is often performed to restore the ability to sense the smell and enhance the taste. This minor medical procedure helps you regain your abilities after being lost due to nasal congestion or chronic allergies.
This may lead to an improvement in appetite, which helps improve overall health and mental well-being by promoting relaxation via enjoying your favourite foods more frequently.
5. Less Pain and Discomfort
Some people experience overall nasal congestion, which is uncomfortable to touch on the nose, headaches when in contact with light or strong smells, ear pain from pressure build-up, and chronic fatigue.
Reducing turbinates can help reduce these symptoms by improving airflow through one of the most important senses. This will also improve sinus drainage while sleeping at night, leading to reduced post-nasal drip, lessening throat irritation, and coughing overnight.
These advantages make the surgery worth considering if you struggle with breathing issues during sleep due to enlarged tissues inside your nose that obstruct airways.
What are the Cons of Turbinate Reduction?
There are several risks to consider while undergoing Septoplasty. Even though it’s a minor process, there are costs, post-procedural risks, and other cons of Turbinate reduction to consider.
Turbinate reduction surgery is a relatively minor procedure that only takes about an hour to complete. However, you will experience some discomfort when the anaesthesia wears off and when your nose begins to heal from the inside out.
Mild pain in the throat or nasal area for several days is normal after turbinate reduction surgery. Still, if you have blood-stained mucus discharge, it could mean something more serious such as a sinus infection that requires medical attention right away.
Discharge of this kind can also become crusty by morning time, so if it’s still present later on one day after the surgery, then see your doctor immediately. The best way to avoid complications during recovery is to follow all post-surgery instructions given carefully by your surgeon.
2. Nose Bleeds are the Long-term Cons of Turbinate Reduction
Turbinate reduction surgery will also leave small amounts of blood in your nasal cavity, which can lead to temporary nose bleeds after the anaesthesia wears off. This is normal and should stop relatively quickly.
If persistent bleeding begins one day after surgery, then go back to see your doctor immediately. This could be a sign that you have damaged tissues inside or outside of your nose during surgery, requiring further treatment.
Discomfort may last for up to three weeks while the body recovers from turbinate reduction surgery. However, some patients still experience pain longer than expected even when following post-surgery instructions carefully. If there is no improvement within six months, consider alternatives such as Balloon Sinuplasty or Functional Endoscopic Sinus Surgery (FESS).
3. Temporary Loss of Sense of Smell
One of the major cons of turbinate reduction can be a temporary loss of sense of smell. However, the effect may vary from person to person. A majority will complain about a loss in their sense of taste and smell right after surgery. Some patients may notice an increase in snoring or a change in their voice. Other drawbacks of septoplasty could be temporary bleeding, dryness inside the nose which can lead to crusting, and reduced ability for your nasal passages to clean themselves out by sneezing.
4. Procedure Costs
Although it’s a non-invasive procedure, it may cost you around $2000. However, if you have it covered through insurance, the surgery may be half as much. Without insurance, it’s even more difficult to plan an invasive turbinate reduction method which could range from $800 to $10,000.
5. Altered Appearance
One of the rare cons of turbinate reduction is that it will change how your nose looks after surgery. Whether or not they are swollen, many patients have a different nose after this procedure because their breathing passages may be smaller than before, and any enlarged tissues from allergies have been reduced to more normal size.
Conclusion on Pros and cons of Septoplasty
By going through the septoplasty pros and cons, you can understand that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. If you have health insurance, you can save money on the procedure and get the right treatment. However, consulting your healthcare expert is the preliminary step to take.