The nasal septum is a thin cartilaginous membrane that divides the nose into two parts. It supports the nose and guides the flow of air in both ways. Normally, the septum is straight, but in some cases, it may be crooked due to injury or other factors, and can make it difficult to breathe, and also makes a sinus infection more likely to occur.

Turbinates are small, bony, scroll like structures inside the nose, and are lined with mucus. This is quite important, as the mucus lining filters and moistens the air before it enters the lungs.


When the septum is crooked, the nose gets unevenly divided, causing the turbinates to grow and further affecting the blockage. To treat both these conditions, a Turbinoplasty is performed alongside a Septoplasty, to restore the original shape of the nose and to make the breathing process easier.


A Turbinoplasty is performed alongside a Septoplasty. These procedures are generally performed when the patient has the following symptoms-

  • Difficulty in breathing.
  • Chronic infections of the nasal sinus.
  • Fluid build-up inside the sinus and/or improper drainage of the fluid.


  • Turbinoplasty can be most effectively performed by using Coblation technology, in which radio frequency current is passed through the turbinate leading to shrinking of the Turbinate.
  • A crooked septum means that the size of one nostril is higher than the other. In this case, the turbinate in the larger nostril becomes bigger as well, leading to higher swelling when a person breathes in allergens. This is especially problematic because now it is difficult for the patient to breathe through both the nostrils. Immediate Septoplasty followed by a turbinoplasty is needed and only this alone can provide the right amount of recovery.
  • This is a very delicate surgery because the turbinates are of great importance to the sinuses and help a person breathe properly. This procedure involves a different class of instruments which are inserted in the bigger nostril to convert it into a normal sized nostril. Septoplasty along with turbinoplasty can reduce the turbinates into an ideal configuration, thus making it easier to breathe.
  • This surgery involves usage of microdebrider which is a small and sharp blade-like structure. It has a curvaceous tip making it easy for the surgeon to scrape one bit at a time and not hastening the surgery or bad results.
  • Post-surgery, the turbinates convert into normal size and they begin to filter the air one breathes and humidify it.

Great amount of improvements will occur after complete recovery and there will be vital changes in the breathing and sleeping pattern. The turbinates being the right size will function amazingly without any hassles.

Authored by Dr Shailesh Pandey, ENT Specialist

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