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Resection of the Turbinates Sinus Surgery at Our Los Angeles Center

The turbinates (also known as nasal concha, due to their shell-like shape) are a swirl of bony projections in your nasal passage that can help filter and add moisture to the air that you breathe. But for some people, enlarged and swollen turbinates — whether caused by anatomical malformations or chronic allergies — actually inhibit the flow of air, making it difficult to breathe and creating problems like sleep apnea and chronic sinusitis.

Innovative Technology

If antihistamines, decongestants and other medications don’t help you breathe freer, sinus surgery may be the answer. In a resection of turbinates, small portions of bone or soft tissue are removed from the turbinates to help open up the area and allow air to move through more freely. Depending on the extent of the swelling and the state of your sinuses, there are two types of procedures that can be performed: In the first, your doctor performs a standard resection, which involves creating an incision in the soft tissue of the turbinate and removing a small portion of the bone. But in most cases at miVIP, your surgeon can simply shrink the swollen turbinates using the state-of-the-art KTP-532 laser treatment and/or radiofrequency ablation. In either scenario, your miVIP surgeon will want to minimize the impact on the soft tissue to allow your turbinates to continue to moisturize and filter the air you breathe properly.

One of the biggest challenges of turbinate resection is determining the appropriate amount of nasal tissue to remove. If too little is removed, your symptoms won’t improve significantly. But if you remove too much, you risk developing “empty nose syndrome,” which can lead to chronic nasal dryness and breathing difficulty. Luckily, both the laser and radiofrequency techniques used at miVIP allow for extreme precision during the short procedure, so that only the problem or infected nasal tissue is reduced or removed. 

Speedy Surgical Procedure

For a simple resection of turbinates, you may just need a local anesthetic, while a more extensive sinus surgery will need to be performed under general anesthesia, and your doctor will add packing of the nasal passages for a few days after the surgery to reduce swelling and bleeding. At miVIP Surgery Centers, a turbinate resection is an outpatient surgery that usually only requires about seven to 10 minutes to perform, meaning you could be breathing easier after your lunch break!


Recovery time from a resection of turbinates should take only two to three days — unless it’s combined with other nasal procedures, such as a septoplasty — and patients will likely have minimal pain or discomfort. For a few weeks after the turbinate resection surgery, your doctor may suggest cleaning out the nostrils with a saline spray to keep the surgical area clean and moist, taking a decongestant to reduce swelling and avoiding vigorous activities that could lead to nose injury and bleeding.

A resection of the turbinates can help you breathe a whole lot easier for years to come.

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