Nasal Turbinate Excision

This surgery is performed to open up the airways in the nose by removing part of one of the nasal turbinate bones and straightening the nasal septum.

This surgery is performed to open up the airways in the nose by removing part of one of the nasal turbinate bones and straightening the nasal septum.

The turbinates are three long, narrow, and curled bones covered with mucous membrane that extend into the breathing passage of the nose. The septum is the bone in the center of the nose that divides the left from the right side.

  • There are three turbinates on each side of the nose; they are called the inferior, middle, and superior turbinates. The job of the turbinates is to clean, warm, and moisturize the air that you breathe in.
  • A nasal turbinate excision is surgery to open up the airways in the nose by removing part of one of the nasal turbinate bones. It is often performed with a procedure to straighten the separation between the left and right nostrils (septoplasty).
  • A septoplasty is done when the septum blocks the airway. This is called a deviated septum.

This care path includes the costs of a nasal turbinate excision performed with a septoplasty.

Some benefit plans may provide coverage if you meet certain requirements and/or receive prior authorization. Please review your coverage documents and/or call the number on the back of your ID card for more information. The estimates shown apply when the service is determined to be a covered service, eligible for in-network reimbursement.

A nasal turbinate excision and septoplasty may be recommended if you have difficulty breathing through your nose or have other nasal symptoms that have not been well controlled with more conservative approaches such as medications. The surgeries may improve your symptoms by decreasing the size of the turbinate and any blockage caused by a deviated septum. If your healthcare provider recommends these surgeries, ask about specific instructions you should follow before surgery. These may include:

  • medications you should not take before the surgery, such as blood thinners
  • regular medications you should take on the day of your surgery
  • how many hours you should stop eating and drinking before surgery
  • medications you need to take before surgery to help decrease inflammation in your nose

If you are a smoker, you should quit smoking, as it can interfere with your recovery.

A nasal turbinate excision and septoplasty are performed through a small incision made inside the nose. They are usually done as an outpatient in a hospital or ambulatory surgery center (ASC). During your surgery, you will receive anesthesia to keep you comfortable and pain free.

  • General anesthesia is the most common type of anesthesia for a nasal turbinate excision and septoplasty. With this type of anesthesia, you are put into a deep sleep and are unable to see, hear, or feel anything.
  • In some cases, you may be given local anesthesia. With this type of anesthesia, your nose is numbed and you are given medication to keep you relaxed.
  • Special packing or splints will be placed inside your nose to help it heal properly. Your healthcare provider will let you know when to have them removed.

What should I ask my healthcare provider before having a nasal turbinate excision and septoplasty?

  • Can my symptoms be controlled with medications? If so, are their Tier 1 or Tier 2 medications on my Prescription Drug List that I should take?
  • What is my diagnosis and reason for the surgery? Do I need both a turbinate excision and septoplasty?
  • What are my treatment options? Are there more conservative non-surgical treatment options for me?
  • What are the benefits and risks of this surgery?
  • What type of anesthesia will I have? What are the risks and benefits of each?
  • Will I have any activity restrictions? For how long?
  • What symptoms are normal after the procedure? When should I be concerned?
  • How long after surgery should I follow up with you?
  • What is your success record with this type of procedure? How many of your patients have needed follow up surgery because their symptoms have recurred?
  • How many turbinate resections with our without septoplasty have you done? How many of your patients have had serious complications that required a hospital stay?


Also known as:

Turbinate Excision
Nose Surgery
Nasal Turbinate Excision
Nasal Septum
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