Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey
195 Little Albany Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08903-2681
Your nasal turbinates are structures that stick out from the inside walls of your nose.
They are made of bone covered by a thin layer of soft tissue, called nasal mucosa.
The purpose of the turbinates is to humidify, warm, and filter air as it passes through your nose.
One of your turbinates may grow too large – usually the lowest one.
If this happens, airflow through your nose may be blocked.
The turbinate may be so swollen that it touches your septum, which is the thin wall dividing your nose into right and left sides.
If medications don’t relieve your symptoms, a procedure called a nasal turbinate reduction may be done to reduce the size of the swollen turbinate.
During the procedure, the surgeon will make a small incision in the mucosa on the turbinate.
A tool, such as a microdebrider, will be used to remove soft tissue, bone, or both from the turbinate.
In most cases, the surgeon will only remove enough tissue to improve airflow.
The rest of the turbinate will remain.
To find out more about turbinate reduction, talk to your healthcare provider.