Nasal Surgery to the Inferior Turbinate

Cautery or trimming of the Turbinates reduces the size of the turbinates. The turbinates are large vascular projections along the side of the interior nose, which are often partly or totally responsible for blocking the nasal airway. This can occur with infection or allergic reactions, which make the turbinates swell excessively. Cautery, trimming of the turbinates or turbinoplasties can reduce their size and improve breathing.

After the Operation

Blocked Nose: The turbinates will be swollen and cause a blocked nose for 1-3 weeks. There will be nasal discharge for up to 10 days, which may be bloodstained for the first few days. The effect is similar to a bad head cold. During this time a gauze bolster held under the nose by a piece of tape may be needed. Sleeping with the head elevated may help.


The turbinates bleed easily. To reduce the risk of bleeding, avoid blowing the nose, lifting heavy weights, running/gym, straining or bending down for as long as your surgeon advises. Avoid hot food and fluids and hot showers for 1-2 days after the operation as this can cause bleeding. Aspirin-containing medications increase the risk of bleeding and should be avoided but check with your surgeon first. If bleeding does occur apply an ice pack to the outside of the nose and suck a piece of ice, if it does not slow or stop after 10 minutes please phone your surgeon.

Pain Relief

You will be given a prescription for pain relief from your surgeon before you leave the hospital. There may be slight discomfort, it is important to take the pain medication regularly. Do not take Aspirin or medications containing aspirin as they may increase the risk of bleeding after surgery. Nasal Dressing

A small piece of disposable dressing may be in the nose to limit bleeding; it may fall out and look like black strings – if so, throw it away. If it does not fall out it will dissolve on its own. Nose blowing & sneezing

There should be no nose blowing for the first week or so, if you need to sneeze try doing this with your mouth open to avoid pressure build up. Nasal sinus care discharge instructions

Below are some instructions to assist you with this care; it is beneficial to do this as it helps to reduce the pain.

  • Sinus rinse kit – Boil 200mls of water & leave to cool. Pour water into bottle and add sachet. Gently mix. This procedure needs to be done 3 times a day and should continue until you see your surgeon at your post op appointment.
  • Bactroban or Chlorsig or Foban Ointment- use a cotton bud to apply ointment to each nostril as directed.
  • Butacort nasal spray (to start 48hours after surgery) – use Butacort spray after you have rinsed, twice daily.

Take your pain relief and antibiotics as directed.

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