What Is Powered Septoplasty With Turbinoplasty?

A powered septoplasty with turbinoplasty is mainly performed to improve your breathing and sinus drainage.

The septum is the bony cartilage wall between the two sides of your nose. It helps support your nose and guides airflow. The septum is supposed to be straight, but sometimes it’s not, due to injury or other factors. A crooked or deviated septum can make it hard to breathe through your nose and prevent proper drainage. This may make you more likely to get a sinus infection (sinusitis).

A deviated (crooked) septum often leads to enlarged turbinates. This can make it hard to breathe and block normal sinus drainage.

Detail - A deviated (crooked) septum often leads to enlarged turbinates. This can make it hard to breathe and block normal sinus drainage.

The turbinates are delicate, bony, scroll-like structures in your nose. The mucous lining of the turbinates is very important because it filters and humidifies the air you breathe before it enters your lungs, and keeps your nose moist.

If your septum is crooked, then one half of the inside of your nose is larger. The turbinates may adjust by getting bigger, too, and make the blockage worse. This is why a powered septoplasty with turbinoplasty is often performed.

During a septoplasty, your ENT surgeon straightens your septum so that air can flow through both sides of your nose normally. In a turbinoplasty, the goal is to reduce the turbinates enough to improve your breathing and sinus drainage, while preserving enough tissue for normal turbinate function.

A special instrument called a microdebrider (MY-cro-duh-BRY-der) has a tiny curved tip that helps the surgeon put the instrument where it’s needed to straighten your septum and reduce your turbinates. Because this equipment may allow the surgeon to be more precise, there may be less risk of removing too much tissue and causing complications.

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.

Last updated: 27 Sep 2010

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