Turbinate Surgery in Munich

Contrarily to a septum deviation, the swelling of the nasal concha (turbinate hyperplasia) causes usually nasal breathing problems in both nasal airways, alternating, however, from side to side. Typically, the breathing problem worsens in a lying position, hence during sleep at night, when the mucous membranes in the nasal concha absorb more fluid and become thicker. Frequently, the obstruction switches from one side to the other.

It is true that nasal sprays may help reduce the swellings and thereby relieve the disorder, but they are harmful when they are used for a longer period of time. Furthermore, these remedies provide merely short-term relief and their effectiveness diminishes by the time. Therefore, it is worth for most patients undergoing this minor surgical procedure aimed at reducing the size of the turbinates (conchotomy).

The radiofrequency treatment is a minimally invasive surgery aimed at the reduction of the nasal concha. An electrical current, produced in the tissue by means of a fine needle, causes the scarring and shrinkage of the tissue and thereby reduces the size of the turbinate. To a certain extent, this surgical procedure can be performed under local anaesthesia as outpatient treatment. However, the therapy is more efficient under a short narcosis, which enables the ENT surgeon to reach easily the deeper lying tissue of the nose and the rear part of the nasal concha. 

It is particularly convenient to perform a turbinate reduction along with a septoplasty when a narcosis is anyway necessary. If the turbinate surgery is carried out along with a deviated septum operation, the patient has normally to stay in hospital for two to four days. Generally, we do not use nose packing.

The single turbinate reduction can be carried out as outpatient or day case surgery.

When we perform such a nasal concha surgery, we always take care to avoid any impairment of the physiological functions of the turbinates, such as the heating of the air and the regulation of the airstream in the nasal passage. We notably avoid an excessive reduction of the nasal concha to prevent dryness in the nose.

Laser Treatment in Rhinology

The use of laser treatment may sometimes be useful. The laser therapy is a minimally invasive surgery which can be performed as outpatient treatment. Under local anaesthesia the tissue of the turbinates is exposed to a special laser light (contact method) and thereby shrinks.   The applications of laser light in ENT surgery (otorhinolaryngology) include, for example, the treatment of the Osler-Rendu-Weber disease and skin alterations. However, laser light is no panacea. In certain cases, for example the turbinate reduction (nasal concha hyperplasia), the use of other therapies may be more efficient, such as the radiofrequency treatment which produces potentially more lasting results than the laser therapy in the turbinate reduction. 

After a turbinate surgery in our clinic in Munich postoperative outpatient care is provided by the ENT surgeon (otorhinolaryngologist) for one to two weeks.

Further useful information about related issues