The septum is the bony cartilage wall between the two sides of the nose. It helps support the nose and guides airflow. The septum is supposed to be straight, but sometimes it’s not, due to injury or other factors. A crooked or deviated septum can make it hard to breathe through the nose and prevent proper drainage. This may make it more likely to get a sinus infection (sinusitis).
The turbinates are delicate, bony, scroll-like structures in the nose. The mucous lining of the turbinates is very important because it filters and humidifies the air that's breathed in before it enters the lungs, and keeps the nose moist.
If the septum is crooked, then one half of the inside of the nose is larger. The turbinates may adjust by getting bigger, too, and make the blockage worse. This is why a powered septoplasty with turbinoplasty is often performed.
A powered septoplasty with turbinoplasty is mainly performed to improve the breathing and sinus drainage.
During a septoplasty, the Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) surgeon straightens the septum so that air can flow through both sides of the nose normally. In a turbinoplasty, the goal is to reduce the turbinates enough to improve the breathing and sinus drainage, while preserving enough tissue for normal turbinate function.
A special instrument called a microdebrider has a tiny curved tip that helps the surgeon put the instrument where it’s needed to straighten the septum and reduce the turbinates.
The doctor should be asked for a detailed explanation of the benefits and risks of the procedure, as well as their experience performing this kind of surgery.