Inferior Turbinate Hypertrophy and Functional Rhinoplasty

Functional rhinoplasty is a type of rhinoplasty that is done with one purpose, to improve the patient’s breathing through the nose. One of the most common reasons or indications for a patient to undergo functional rhinoplasty is an abnormality to the patient’s anatomical structures of the nose. However, not all abnormalities of the nose’s anatomical structures will need to be corrected through functional rhinoplasty. If abnormalities do not alter or cause breathing difficulty through the nose and other negative symptoms, functional rhinoplasty may not be needed. Even though functional rhinoplasty does not possess any harm, there are still risks when undergoing functional rhinoplasty.

What is Inferior Turbinate Hypertrophy?

Inferior Turbinate Hypertrophy and Functional Rhinoplasty

Inferior turbinate hypertrophy is a medical condition wherein the lowest lying turbinates or inferior turbinates are enlarged. Turbinates are the bony prominences arising from the internal sidewalls in the nose and turbinates help in humidifying and warming the air when breathed in through the nose. There are two different classifications of inferior turbinate hypertrophy, either mucosal or bony.

2 Classifications of Inferior Turbinate Hypertrophy:

As mentioned above, there are 2 different classifications of inferior turbinate hypertrophy. These 2 different classifications of inferior turbinate hypertrophy are:

  1. Mucosal Inferior Turbinate Hypertrophy – This type of inferior turbinate hypertrophy can be caused by both allergic and non-allergic. Hypertrophy of turbinates in mucosal inferior turbinate hypertrophy is generally present on both side of the nose and the obstruction is usually relieved using topical decongestants.
  2. Bony  Inferior Turbinate Hypertrophy – If topical decongestant can’t improve the congestion or obstruction in the nose because of a turbinate hypertrophy, bony inferior turbinate hypertrophy is most likely the condition. The obstruction in bony inferior turbinate hypertrophy will commonly need to undergo functional rhinoplasty to improve and get rid of symptoms, such as nasal obstruction and congestion.

Functional Rhinoplasty and Bony Inferior Turbinate Hypertrophy

It is very common for bony inferior turbinate rhinoplasty to occur together with deviated septum. Both deviated septum and bony inferior turbinate rhinoplasty can cause nasal congestion and nasal obstruction, which can be a perfect indication for functional rhinoplasty and even septoplasty, a surgical procedure for deviated septum. In functional rhinoplasty with a bony inferior turbinate hypertrophy, there will be trimming of the enlarged inferior turbinates. To effectively get rid of the nasal congestion and obstruction brought about by the bony inferior turbinate hypertrophy with deviated septum, straightening the deviated septum with trimming of the hypertrophied inferior turbinates will be done.

Author: M.L.G

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