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What are the Turbinates?
The turbinates are located on each side inside the nose. They are very rich in blood vessels and can become swollen at times and obstruct the nose. Just lying down can sometimes cause them to swell and obstruct your breathing. Occasionally the turbinates themselves can be so large that they protrude into the airway and cause a stuffy nose.
What to Expect During Turbinate Surgery
This surgery repairs a blockage caused by enlarged turbinates. Incisions are made inside the nose under the lower turbinate. A laser may be used to do this. Excess bone may be removed to reduce turbinate size. Sometimes, excess mucous membrane is also removed.
Risks and Possible Complications
As with any surgery, nasal surgery has some risks. These include a slight risk of bleeding and infection. Your doctor will discuss any other risks and complications with you.
After Turbinate Surgery
After turbinate surgery, you'll be taken to a recovery area or to your hospital room. Your experience may be as follows:
* You may have gauze bandages or other material (packing) inside your nose. This reduces bleeding and promotes healing. You may also have dressings (bandages) on the outside of your nose.
* It's normal to have some mucus and blood drain from your nose. Until packing is removed, you may have to breathe through your mouth.
* You may have some swelling or bruising around the eyelids.
* Expect some throat dryness and irritation. Use of a humidifier can be very helpful during this period.
* Pain medication will be prescribed as needed. Don't take medication containing aspirin or ibuprofen. These can increase bleeding.
You'll need a follow up with your doctor within a week after your surgery. Here is what to expect:
* Any packing or dressings will probably be removed. You may feel slight discomfort and bleed a little when this is done.
* After the  packing is removed, you'll most likely breathe better than you did before surgery.
* You may have minor numbness, pain, swelling, and a little stiffness under the tip of the nose.
* In a few days, the inside of your nose may swell and briefly block your breathing. Or, a scab or crust may block breathing for a short time. Leave the scab alone. Your doctor can remove it.
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