Asian rhinoplasty is a procedure that helps thousands of people acheive an aesthetically pleasing nose that remains true to the patient’s ethnicity. It’s also capable of giving a patient a better functioning nose by adjusting the internal nasal structures. One of the ways this can be accomplished is through a turbinate reduction.
What Is a Turbinate?
You have six turbinates inside your nose, three for each nasal passage. They are called the inferior, middle, and superior turbinates. The turbinates are located on the sides of the nose and are stacked on top of one another, with the inferior turbinate on the bottom and the superior turbinate on the top. They stick out into the nasal passage and are coated in mucous. Their function is to clean the air you breathe by trapping any contaminants on the mucous lining and humidifying the air before it reaches your lungs.
The turbinates are made up of bone and soft tissue, with the inferior turbinate being the largest of the three. They can become swollen or enlarged when certain stimuli are present, such as an allergen or other foreign material. When the turbinates are swollen, they can block your nasal passage and impede your breathing.
What Is a Turbinate Reduction?
Some patients have naturally larger turbinates as a result of genetics, a condition known as hypertrophic turbinates. People with this condition often have significant breathing problems because the tiniest bit of swelling can block their nasal passage. If enough stimuli are present, the turbinates can impede breathing for an extended period of time.
Asian rhinoplasty can help by surgically reducing the size of the turbinates. Usually, this procedure only needs to be conducted on the inferior turbinate, since it is the largest of the three, but it can be done on the middle and superior turbinates, as well.
How Is a Turbinate Reduction Performed?
This procedure can be performed on its own, or in conjunction with any cosmetic adjustments or other functional corrections. This is a huge plus for patients who want a nose that is both better looking and better functioning! If all you need is a turbinate reduction, however, it is a simple procedure that doesn’t even require external incisions.
The surgeon can use either local or general anesthesia, but usually general anesthesia is best for anything rhinoplasty related. An endoscope (basically a small camera on the end of a hose) is inserted inside your nostril to help the surgeon see better and know exactly what they’re looking at. Once everything is positioned, the surgeon makes an incision in the mucosal lining of the turbinate and removes the appropriate amount of tissue. After the tissue is excised, the incision is cauterized or closed with incisions.
It’s important that you choose a surgeon with experience and knowledge on this procedure, because you want to have some turbinate tissue remaining inside your nose. The turbinates help keep you healthy, so they still need to be able to project into your nasal passage in order to filter and humidify the air you breathe.
Recovery from this procedure is also very minimal. Since it can be performed entirely through the nostrils, there are no external incisions to take care of and no horrible swelling around the outside of your nose. You will feel some pain on the inside of your nose, much like the pain of a sinus infection. You also may have some bleeding for the first couple days and other discharge during the healing process. Most patients feel well enough to return to work and normal activities after one week; your breathing and nasal passages should be back to normal in about two to three weeks.
Schedule an Appointment
If you are interested in learning more about turbinate reduction surgery and other ways Asian rhinoplasty can improve the look and function of your nose, contact our office in Beverly Hills at (310) 275-2467 to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Paul Nassif. Dr. Nassif is considered an Asian rhinoplasty expert around the world and has worked with thousands of patients to give them the best looking and best functioning nose possible. Call us today to schedule an appointment!