What is septoplasty and turbinate reduction?

Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgery

A septoplasty and turbinate reduction surgery may be performed to greatly improve breathing function. The septal cartilage is normally a midline structure that helps to support the nose in the middle. Sometimes for various reasons including trauma, congenital defect, or drug use, the septum can shift to one side or the other causing obstruction of the nasal airway. A septoplasty surgery will reposition the cartilage and sometimes bony septum posteriorly to improve bilateral nasal flow. The turbinates are three structures along the outer inner nose that help filter the air. These may be reduced when there is evidence of hypertrophy to also greatly improve nasal breathing. Otolaryngologists are specialists in head and neck based surgery and are very well trained in performing septoplasty and reduction of the turbinates. Not infrequently, during a cosmetic rhinoplasty, functional septoplasty and turbinectomies may be performed.

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