Outfracture is a procedure to break the bone of the lower turbinate. Once completed, the turbinate may be moved. The turbinates are 3 paired sets of structures that line the inside wall of the nasal cavity. These structures filter, moisten, and heat air as it enters the nose. They are made of small bones that are surrounded by soft tissue.
Outfracture of turbinates may be done in combination with a septoplasty.
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Turbinates can become enlarged and make it difficult to breathe through your nose. Outfracture of turbinates can allow the turbinate to be moved to a different position to:
Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
Your doctor may do the following before your surgery:
Before your procedure:
Your doctor will recommend that you stop smoking up to a month before the procedure. Smoking leads to an increase in scar tissue and poor healing that affects the success of the surgery.
Depending on the extent of the surgery, you may have:
The surgeon will insert an endoscope into your nose. An endoscope is a thin, lighted tube with a camera. The small bone inside the turbinate will be broken and pressure will be used to move it to the side wall of the nose.
The remaining tissue may thinned-out around the turbinate. Bleeding can be stopped using electrical heat, radiofrequency, stitches, or packing.
Anesthesia will block pain during the procedure. You will have pain after the procedure. Ask your doctor about medication to help manage pain.
At the Care Center
Right after the procedure, you will be in a recovery room where your blood pressure, pulse, and breathing will be monitored. Recovery may also include:
The feeling of stuffiness is common after surgery because of swelling. Nasal sprays will help keep your nasal passageways moist, clean debris like dried blood, and assist in healing.
It is important to monitor your recovery. Alert your doctor to any problems. If any of the following occur, call your doctor:
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services 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
Brunworth J, Holmes J, Sindwani R. Inferior turbinate hypertrophy: Review and graduated approach to surgical management. Am J Rhinol Allergy. 2013;27(5):411-415.
Kerzirian, E. Turbinate surgery. Sleep Doctor website. Available at: http://www.sleep-doctor.com/surgical-treatment-overview/nasal-procedures/turbinate. Accessed November 28, 2017.
Reduction of turbinates. ENT Consent Patient Resource website. Available at: http://www.entconsent.co.uk/ENTcons/reduce%20turbs.html. Accessed November 28, 2017.
Septoplasty & turbinate surgery. American Rhinologic Society website. Available at: http://care.american-rhinologic.org/septoplasty_turbinates. Accessed November 28, 2017.
Turbinate reduction. Johns Hopkins Sinus Center website. Available at: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/sinus/surgical_procedures/turbinate_reduction.html. Accessed November 28, 2017.
Last reviewed November 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board James Cornell, MD