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Turbinate Reduction Surgery


This is surgery to improve the nasal airways by correcting mechanical obstruction to the passage of air up the nostril.

The surgery is performed under a general anaesthetic and sometimes requires the patient to remain in hospital overnight after surgery. The nostrils will be packed to control bleeding. This pack will usually dissolve by itself.

Cautery of Turbinates

Cautery of the turbinates partly burns them to cause scarring and reduce the ability to swell.

What to expect following Cautery of Turbinates

The nose will be totally blocked up for 5 days. It will slowly improve over a number of weeks. It will also be runny like a cold.

What to expect after the operation

  1. 1st Week
    • Mucoid discharge, at times blood stained.
    • The nose is quite blocked for this period.
    • Blowing of the nose is not advised.
    • The tip of the nose can be tender, but it is more discomfort than pain.
  2. 2nd Week
    • Discharge dries up, some crusting can form.
    • The airways slowly clear.
    • There may be a smell in the nose at this time.
  3. 3rd Week - 8th Week
    • Airways continue to clear steadily and progressively.

Potential Problems

  1. Bleeding
    Often there is a minor bleeding or blood stained mucous during the first week.  Very occasionally, the nose can need re-packing.
  2. Recurrence
    Approximately 5% of the time, surgery will be required to remove further turbinate tissue or scar tissue.
  3. Dryness
    There is a potential for dryness of the nose if too much tissue is removed. This is however very uncommon.
  4. Vocal Change
    Occasionally, the tone of the voice can be altered by removing tissue from inside of the nose.

*See discharge advice after nasal and sinus surgery

If you have any concerns after discharge, please call our rooms on 9388 7474.


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