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Sam (Samieh) S. Rizk, M.D., F.A.C.S. Director of Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgery

Turbinate Surgery & Turbinate Reduction

Enlarged turbinates can cause many problems including difficult breathing, snoring, sleep apnea, and sinus infections. Turbinates are structures in the nasal cavities that clean, warm, and humidify the air as it moves through your nose and into the lungs. As they play such an important role in our respiratory health, enlarged turbinates should be taken seriously. If your doctor suspects that enlarged turbinates are the cause of your respiratory problems, he may suggest you consult with a qualified nose surgeon, such as Dr. Sam Rizk in New York.

Dr. Rizk is highly experienced in treating enlarged turbinates, also known as turbinate hypertrophy. There are three turbinates (inferior, middle, and superior) in each of the nasal cavities. After an initial examination in which Dr. Rizk will determine which turbinates are causing problems, he may suggest you try over the counter or prescription nasal sprays and/or oral medication. If the turbinates do not reduce in size with this first course of treatment, then surgical intervention may be required.

The goal of turbinate surgery is to correct the nasal obstruction responsible for the breathing problem by reducing the size of the turbinate. At the same time, the surgery should preserve the natural function of the turbinate. As such, turbinate reduction surgery requires careful planning and execution by a skilled and experienced surgeon. After surgery, nasal function should be improved as the turbinates are reduced in size. Dr. Rizk will employ the use of a 3D endoscope when performing turbinate reduction surgery, which may be done under local or general anesthesia. The endoscope improves the doctor’s ability to visualize the turbinate and nasal cavity by providing light to and magnification of the area. Dr. Rizk will carefully make an incision in the mucosal lining of the turbinate, and then remove excess bone and tissue from below the turbinate. Alternately, the turbinates may be reduced without removing any of the turbinate bone or tissue through cauterization or radiofrequency reduction. The approach chosen will depend upon your condition and the anatomy of your nose. The surgery is performed entirely through the nostrils, requiring no external incisions, and thus no visible marks of the surgery. Patients are typically able to return home the same day.

After the surgery, Dr. Rizk will provide you with post-operative instructions, which may include the use of a saline solution to relieve dryness and promote healing. You may feel tired after the surgery, but pain is typically mild and well controlled with oral pain medication. Nasal stuffiness, caused by swelling and drainage of blood and mucus are common side effects and a part of the natural healing process. After the healing period, you should be able to breathe much better, as the obstructions will have been reduced. If you are concerned that your breathing problems are a result of enlarged turbinates, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with Dr. Rizk in his Manhattan office. With safe solutions readily available, there is no reason to suffer from enlarged turbinates and irregular breathing any longer.


Castle Connolly, the most respected major healthcare research company, has ranked Dr. Rizk one of America's Best Doctors

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