Inferior Turbinate Reduction

hero image

Turbinate surgery, otherwise known as an inferior turbinate reduction, is aimed to reduce the size of a patient’s nasal turbinates and improve airflow through the nostrils. Composed of bone, vascular tissue, and a mucous membrane, turbinates can become enlarged by sinus infections and irritants—both physical and chemical—and impede the nasal airway. Additionally, disorders such as chronic headaches, nasal obstruction, sleep apnea, and snoring can also often be attributed to enlargement of the inferior turbinates (turbinate hypertrophy).

If treatments such as antihistamines, decongestants, and antibiotics do not relieve symptoms of chronic nasal obstruction, turbinate reduction surgery may be a good option. Each of our board-certified and board-eligible Otolaryngologists (ENT) are skilled and experienced in turbinate reduction surgery. Both Dr. Arjuna Kuperan and Dr. Shawn Allen are dedicated to helping people breathe easier.

How Does Turbinate Reduction Surgery Work?

Nasal turbinates are the hot dog-shaped structures that sit along the base of your nasal passages on either side of the nasal septum within the nasal cavity. They can become enlarged from allergies, frequent nasal spray use, or age-related dysregulation. In some cases, they are simply too large from birth.

Radiofrequency turbinate surgery is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure that is completed through a patient’s nostrils using small instruments as well as an endoscope (tiny surgical camera).1 Turbinate surgery typically leaves behind no visible scars, cuts, incisions, or changes in appearance.

enlarged turbinate illustration

Benefits of Turbinate Reduction

  • Offers permanent relief from chronic sinus congestion
  • Developed to avoid post-surgical complications
  • Gentle on delicate mucosal tissue
  • Quick recovery time

What Conditions Can Be Treated With Turbinate Reduction?

Turbinate Reduction can solve a number of frustrating sinus conditions, including:

  • Rhinitis
  • Chronic nasal congestion
  • Inferior turbinate hypertrophy
  • Non-allergic rhinitis

Turbinate Reduction Recovery

Because this procedure is minimally-invasive, recovery time is minimal. Most patients can resume normal activity in just a few short days. The procedure is also highly effective, as it reduces nasal obstruction, allowing patients to see breathing improvement immediately. Nasal congestion, crusting, nasal drainage, nosebleeds, changes in sense of smell, and mild pain is normal and any discomfort can usually be managed with OTC medications such as Tylenol or ibuprofen.

Turbinate Reduction Surgery Results

The most important thing to note with turbinate surgery is that patient selection is key. Patients should consult with a board-certified and board-eligible otolaryngologist or rhinologist like our sinus surgeon, so they can be sure a turbinate reduction will provide them with lasting relief and improved nasal breathing. Diagnosis is important, because patients with a deviated septum, nasal polyps, or a nasal valve collapse will likely only see small and/or temporary relief with turbinate surgery and may require a procedure such as a septoplasty to treat. Treating the correct problem is the only way to ensure permanent relief from symptoms.

Why Choose My Houston Surgeons

With My Houston Surgeons, turbinate surgery is unique for three reasons. First, each procedure is performed with the latest technology in the industry in our state of the art facilities.

Second, the treatment is administered using an endoscope (small camera) in the nose that allows for superior visualization of the entire inferior turbinate including the tail region so it is completely reduced. Many other practices that offer inferior turbinate reduction do not completely remove the bone from the inferior turbinate or leave tissue at the tail region and studies show this can result in continued nasal obstruction.

Third, we offer first-class post procedure recovery suites so you can wake up peacefully refreshed and get back to your day quickly and efficiently.

FAQs About Turbinate Reduction Surgery

Does turbinate reduction surgery hurt?

No. You will be placed under local anesthesia or general anesthesia during the procedure, so your surgery will be pain-free.

How do I prepare for turbinate reduction surgery?

We’ll provide you with detailed pre-op instructions to review before your procedure, but in general you’ll need to stop drinking and eating the night before your surgery. Additionally, you’ll need to do any blood work as requested by your surgeon, and fill any prescriptions provided at your pre-op appointment.

Is there anything I shouldn’t do immediately after turbinate reduction surgery?

It’s important to avoid blowing your nose and any strenuous physical activity for two weeks following your surgery to avoid swelling and unnecessary bleeding.

What is the success rate of turbinate reduction surgery?

The overall success rate, at one-month post-op as defined by patient satisfaction, was 82%.2

Are there any risks or complications associated with turbinate reduction surgery?

When performed by an experienced board-certified and board-eligible surgeon, nasal turbinate reduction is considered safe. However, as with any surgical procedure, it does have some risks including bleeding, swelling, infection, empty nose syndrome, and abnormal scar tissue.3

Sinus Surgery

At My Houston Surgeons, we are able to treat a variety of sinus problems. We can prescribe the right course of action and follow through with state-of-the-art treatment plans for each person. Our office has the most current CT Scanning, cutting-edge technology allowing for minimally-invasive, in-office procedures, as well as nationally recognized luxury recovery suites. Plus we have highly-trained, board-certified and board-eligible sinus surgeons to care for you every step of the way.

Quality Patient Care

My Houston Surgeons is proud to include Houston’s premiere ENT, rhinologist, and sinus surgeon on our team. Our clinical team is experienced in effectively treating a range of nasal and sinus disorders, so you can be confident that your treatment plan will achieve optimal results and lasting relief from sinus issues.

Schedule A Consultation for Turbinate Reduction Surgery

To schedule a consultation with one of our talented sinus surgeons, call (713) 489-5867 or email

Trused Source Icon - Checkbox Sources

1 Stanford Health Care. Turbinate Reduction. Available: Accessed April 4, 2022.

2 ORL. Turbinate surgery: how effective is it? A long-term assessment. Available: Accessed April 4, 2022.

3 Stanford Health Care. Turbinate Reduction. Available: Accessed April 4, 2022.

The Doctors at My Houston Surgeons have either authored or reviewed and approved this content. Page last updated:


Contact us to schedule a personalized consultation

Our highly-skilled staff and doctors are dedicated to understanding your concerns and providing the best personalized treatment options available. Whether you seek cosmetic, reconstructive, or sinus surgery, our goal is to provide excellence in treatment and compassion in care.

Footer / Main Contact Form

*Communications through our website or via email are not encrypted and are not necessarily secure. Use of the Internet or email is for your convenience only, and by using them, you assume the risk of unauthorized use.

I accept the Terms of Use*