Outfracture of Turbinates
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Outfracture of turbinates is a procedure to break and shift the bony structures (turbinates) that line the inside wall of the nose.
Reasons for Procedure
The job of the turbinates is to filter, moisten, and heat air as it enters the nose. Sometimes they can become enlarge. This can make it hard to breathe through the nose. This surgery is done to open the airway to:
Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:
Things that may raise the risk of problems are:
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
The surgical team may meet with you to talk about:
The doctor may give:
Description of the Procedure
A thin tube with a camera will be passed into the nose. It will allow the doctor to see inside it. Small tools will be used to break the small bones. They will be pushed up to the side wall, away from the passageway.
Soft tissue may also be thinned-out around the area. Bleeding can be stopped using special tools, stitches, or packing.
How Long Will It Take?
1 to 2 hours
Will It Hurt?
Pain and swelling are common in the first few days. Medicine and home care help.
At the Care Center
Right after the procedure, the staff may give you:
It will take about a week for swelling to go away. Some activities will be limited, such as heavy lifting or straining. You may need to delay your return to work.
Call Your Doctor
Call the doctor if you are not getting better or you have:
If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.
American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
Canadian Society of Otolaryngology
The College of Family Physicians of Canada
Atopic rhinitis and related disorders. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/atrophic-rhinitis-and-related-disorders. Accessed August 20, 2021.
Turbinate reduction. Johns Hopkins Medicine website. Available at:
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Accessed August 20, 2021.
Turbinate surgery. Mount Sinai website. Available at: https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/surgery/turbinate-surgery. Accessed August 20, 2021.
Last reviewed July 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board James Cornell, MD
Last Updated: 8/20/2021