Be sure to ask your doctor for a detailed explanation of the benefits and risks of this procedure, as well as his or her experience performing it.
The main benefit of this surgery is that you should be able to breathe more freely and will probably have fewer sinus infections. Like other FESS procedures, it’s minimally invasive and you can usually go home the same day. The surgeon uses a special instrument called a microdebrider with a tiny rotating tip. This method has multiple advantages.
By allowing a more precise, targeted removal of tissue, the microdebrider helps your surgeon correct the deviation and save healthy tissue. Other benefits include:
Sometimes the turbinates can regrow or form scar tissue, and the sinus infections come back. But for many patients, the results of a powered turbinoplasty last significantly longer compared to other turbinate surgery methods.1,2 Additional benefits include:
No surgery is 100% safe, because there is always the risk from anesthesia and possible infection. Be sure to ask your doctor about potential complications from your procedure.
Surgery to treat a deviated septum is generally safe, but there are a few risks. If too much tissue is removed, you could have a collapsed septum, making the nose look deformed, or a perforated septum, a hole in the septum that whistles when you breathe and can cause bleeding. This risk is less likely with the powered septoplasty method.
In some cases, the septum reshapes itself back to the deviated position. This is because the cartilage has some memory, like a spring, and wants to return to its original shape. Rare complications include bleeding, numbness of the front teeth, and a reduced or complete loss of the sense of smell.
While turbinate surgery is generally safe, there are a few risks. The main risk is removing too much tissue, which means the turbinates can’t warm and humidify the air you breathe. The result is a permanently dry, crusty nose that can be painful. This risk is less likely with the powered turbinoplasty method.
Though uncommon, other risks of turbinate surgery include bleeding, chronic nasal inflammation, and a loss of the sense of smell.
Yanez C, Mora N. Inferior turbinate debriding technique: ten-year results. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2008;138:170-5.
Sacks R, Thornton MA, Boustred RN. Modified endoscopic turbinoplasty - long term results compared to submucosal electrocautery and submucosal powered turbinoplasty. Presented at the American Rhinologic Society, May 14, 2005.
Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.