Nasal obstruction is the most common complaint treated by otolaryngologists. Turbinectomy is a surgical procedure that opens up the nasal passages by removing bone and soft tissue. It may be warranted in cases in which the upper airway is obstructed due to:
Turbinectomy may be performed in conjunction with other nasal surgeries such as septoplasty, rhinoplasty, or sinus surgery.
When performed to address snoring and obstructive sleep apnea, turbinectomy may take one of several forms, depending on an individual’s anatomy. The surgeon may remove bone only, or bone and soft tissue. This may be achieved by cauterization, electrocautery, or microdebrider.
A microdebrider is a tiny, high-speed device that shaves soft tissue. It may be inserted through a tiny tube so that nasal surgeries can be performed with minimal incisions.
In turbinectomy, the microdebrider is inserted into the turbinate through a tiny incision in the nose. A computer tomography (CT) guided imaging system assists our physicians in clearly viewing the surgical site. Once inserted, the microdebrider quickly and accurately removes the desired tissue, leaving adjacent tissues intact. This recently developed tool allows for precision unmatched by cauterization or conventional scalpel techniques.
The greatest complication associated with any nasal surgery is bleeding. Traditionally, the nose is packed for a number of days after surgery, preventing excessive bleeding but also causing significant post-operative discomfort. To address this problem, Dr. Jeffrey Ahn now uses a newly developed coagulating agent, Costasis, to stop bleeding at the surgical site. After spraying Costasis on the area, bleeding is controlled and patients do not need to undergo packing.
Dr. Ahn is the first surgeon in the U.S. to use Costasis in conjunction with microdebrider turbinectomy. “Patients are very happy about not having to deal with packings,” said Dr. Ahn.
In addition to reducing patient discomfort, Costasis also facilitates extubation after surgery and makes the recovery process smoother. Dr. Ahn is currently studying post-operative effects of Costasis and will publish his results upon completion of his study.