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Had severe blow on nose. Has surgery to unblock his sinuses. What does Turbinate reduction mean and when do you use balloon therapy?

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ENT Specialist
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Our son took a severe blow to his face and sinuses last Oct. duringa varisity soccer game. He is 95% better from that conucssion as seen by a neurosurgeon. Tomorrow he has surgery on his nose (daviated septum) and to unblock his sinuses as he can not breathe through his nose and has been on antibiotics for 8 months staright sinc eteh injury to unblock his nose from cumulative sinus infection. What does Turbinate reduction mean and when do you use balloon therapy? Finally what do we need to know about about the operation adn reocvery fron Septoplasty? What is listed for this surgery is Seotoplasty, Endoscopy w/ ethmoidectomy, total (?) and Endoscopy w maxillary antrostomy and tissue removal (?), bilateral. Thank you for your time! Mrs. XXXXX
Posted Mon, 29 Jul 2013 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 1 hour later

Thanks for posting the query

Q: What does Turbinate reduction mean and when do you use balloon therapy?

A: There are three turbinates each in the human nasal cavities. These turbinates are placed on the side wall of the nose, one above the other. The chief function of the turbinates is to warm up the air which we breathe. In certain individuals with nasal allergy the turbinates swell up causing nasal obstruction and blocking the sinus openings.

In the case of your son, the hypertrophy could be due to the allergy rather than the injury alone. Hence the size of the lower most turbinate (inferior turbinate) has to be reduced. There are various methods to reduce the size of turbinates, such as electrocautery, cobalation, etc. It is the surgeon's choice to select the ideal one depending upon the availability of the instruments.

Ballon therapy is a recent innovation in the medical field, wherein small tubes with a ballon surrounding the tube is inserted into the sinus openings and inflated. This will gradually widen the sinus ostia thus, avoiding any damage to the sinus openings.

Q: Finally what do we need to know about about the operation adn reocvery fron Septoplasty?

A: Septoplasty is a novel method of correcting the deviated nasal septum with minimal removal of the nasal cartilage. Post surgery the nasal cavities will be blocked inorder to keep the septal flaps in apposition and reduce the bleeding. The pack will be removed after 24 hours. Following which, use of saline nasal spray and xylometazoline nasal spray will be advised to keep the nose moist and free from the crusts and blood clots.

During the post surgical period, there may be some amount of blood tinged secretions noticed when clearing the nose, do not worry, this is absolutely normal.

The surgery planned by your doctor is to correct the deviated nasal septum and to clear all the blocked ethmoid and maxillary sinuses. This will be performed inside the nasal cavities using an endoscope and no cut will be made from outside the nose.

Hope this answers your query; I will be available for the follow-up queries.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
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