Inferior Turbinates Reduction

Inferior Turbinate Reduction in San Diego, CA | Silenso Clinic

Nasal breathing is essential to our health and well-being.

Nasal breathing is essential to our health and well-being. Breathing through the nose cleans the air we inhale, warms it before getting to our lungs, and also increases oxygen intake by boosting vasodilators to expand our blood vessels. 

These functions are primarily performed by turbinates – small structures inside the nose that filter and humidify air passing through. Sometimes these turbinate structures can become enlarged, or there is too much bone underlying the structures, which leads to complications with nasal breathing.

Diagram of a nose showing an enlarged turbinate

In these cases, if oral and topical medication is ineffective in treating the condition, inferior turbinate reduction surgery might be performed by a specialized ear, nose, and throat doctor. 

Here, Dr. Paul Schalch Lepe, a board-certified otolaryngologist and sleep medicine specialist affiliated with UC San Diego, explains everything you need to know about inferior turbinate reduction. 

If you or your child is experiencing problems with breathing through the nose, then reach out to Dr. Schalch Lepe at (858) 925-5800, or fill in his contact form to arrange your consultation today. Silenso Clinic is located in Carmel Valley in North San Diego County and serves many communities throughout the greater San Diego area, including La Jolla, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Del Mar, Coronado, Eastlake, Chula Vista, and more.    

What is Inferior Turbinate Reduction?

Inferior turbinate reduction is a surgery that reduces the size of turbinates in the nose. There are a variety of procedures (in office) or surgeries (under anesthesia) that can reduce, remove or displace the obstructive turbinate tissue, through different cutting-edge technologies involving radiofrequency energy, lasers, or conventional tissue removal.

How Does Inferior Turbinate Reduction Work?

Inferior turbinate reduction works by removing the obstacle preventing a clear flow of air through the nasal passages. In the case of inferior turbinate reduction, this obstacle is an enlarged turbinate. Thus, the surgery reduces the size of this obstacle, while preserving the very important functions of the inferior turbinates.

Woman smiling next to a bike outside

What are the Benefits of Inferior Turbinate Reduction?

The primary benefit of inferior turbinate reduction surgery is easier breathing through the nose.  Turbinate reduction can alleviate each of these issues, allowing you to improve your quality of life.

When nasal breathing is impaired, the patient may experience several addtional unpleasant symptoms, including:

Snoring

Snoring can disrupt the sleep of both the patient and their partners. Sleep is essential to leading a high-functioning, healthy daily lifestyle, and inferior turbinate reduction can restore a peaceful night’s sleep. 

Difficulty sleeping

When we sleep, we tend to breathe through the nose. If turbinates are enlarged, thus preventing a clear flow of air, it can be difficult for patients to fall asleep. The surgery can address this. 

Nosebleeds

Struggling to inhale air through the nasal passage can also lead to the drying of mucus membranes lining the passageway, making it more sensitive and prone to bleeding. 

Decreased sense of smell and taste

Having a blocked nose due to turbinate enlargement often leads to a reduced sensation of smell and taste, leading to less enjoyment taken from food and even potentially weight loss.  

What can I Expect Before, During, and After My Inferior Turbinate Reduction?

Before your treatment, it is imperative to have a candid consultation with Dr. Schalch Lepe in which he can accurately diagnose your condition.

The first step in your inferior turbinate reduction surgery is a thorough consultation, in which Dr. Schalch Lepe will examine your airways and determine what is causing you discomfort. If he realizes that your turbinates are indeed the cause of the problem, you will book a date for your surgery. 

The surgery itself generally sometimes only takes 15-20 minutes, but this can vary according to the level of complexity (complications are when something goes wrong), degree of enlargement, and cause for  the blockage. Performed under general anesthesia, Dr. Schalch Lepe will remove bone material from underneath your turbinates and may also excise excess skin and soft tissue to clear the nasal passages.

Depending on the patient, Dr. Schalch Lepe sometimes recommends they go home to rest right after the procedure. 

Minor nasal bleeding and drainage are to be expected after the surgery. Still, over-the-counter pain medication like Tylenol or ibuprofen is generally sufficient to manage any pain experienced in the 1-5 days after the treatment. 

Post-procedure congestion is usually managed with saline spray, and occasionally, one or two days of topical spray decongestants.

This optimizes healing time. Once the patient has recovered, Dr. Schalch Lepe requests a follow-up procedure 2-3 weeks later, provided no complications are necessitating an earlier visit.

Why Choose Dr. Paul Schalch Lepe for Turbinate Reduction in San Diego, CA?

Specializing in the treatment of a variety of conditions (deviated septum, chronic sinusitis, nasal obstruction, obstructive sleep apnea, etc.),  Dr. Schalch Lepe is highly qualified and motivated to provide his patients with the best possible turbinate reduction results. Dr. Schalch Lepe takes an in-depth, personalized approach with each patient to ensure they receive the best possible treatment for their situation.

Originally from Mexico City, Mexico, Dr. Schalch Lepe has the unique perspective of having trained in multiple countries. This experience has led him to be sought out by domestic and international patients, many of whom are Mexican ex-pats living throughout San Diego County and Southern California.

portrait photo of Dr. Schalch Lepe

Better Breathing Starts Today

Specializing in the treatment of a variety of conditions (deviated septum, nasal obstruction, snoring, obstructive sleep apnea, etc.),  Dr. Schalch Lepe is highly qualified and motivated to provide his patients with the best possible treatment results. Dr. Schalch Lepe takes an in-depth, personalized approach with each patient to ensure they receive the best possible treatment for their situation.

Originally from Mexico City, Mexico, Dr. Schalch Lepe has the unique perspective of having trained in multiple countries. This experience has led him to be sought out by domestic and international patients, many of whom are Mexican ex-pats living throughout San Diego County and Southern California.

Inferior Turbinate Reduction in San Diego, CA

If you are experiencing difficulty inhaling and exhaling through your nose, and this is causing you distress, then reach out to Dr. Schalch Lepe. Contact (858) 925-5800 or fill out his online form to book a consultation and see if an inferior turbinate reduction is the correct course of action – and if it is, begin your way towards a more enjoyable life today.