Turbinoplasty – Enlarged Turbinate Surgery in Melbourne


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Nasal obstruction and stuffiness can be annoying. This is because it prevents you from being able to take a deep fulfilling breath. People with large nasal turbinate’s miss out on this sensation.

Nasal turbinate’s, are large bony and flesh structures in your nose, when these are larger than normal it narrows your nasal airway. This produces an annoying stuffy-nose feeling. Symptoms include crusting, nose bleeds, headaches, and bad allergies.

Turbinectomy (turbinoplasty) is a surgery to reduce the nasal turbinate’s and relieve nasal obstructions. When medical therapy fails, turbinate reduction is the only way to cure a nasal obstruction.

Dr Stephen Kleid is a top turbinoplasty surgeon in Melbourne, Australia. He’s an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) surgeon with decades of experience in the field. Over the years, Dr Kleid has mastered advanced turbinoplasty techniques to relieve symptoms and prevent recurrence.

Keep reading to learn more about nasal turbines, symptoms of enlarged turbines, and how to treat them.


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Focused Anatomy and Physiology

Two nasal chambers extend inside from your nostrils, a right and a left chamber (or nasal airway). In the middle, the nasal septum passes and separates the two chambers from each other.

You can think of each chamber as a room with walls. The shared middle wall is the nasal septum. On the sides, each chamber has a wall – the lateral wall.

Turbinate’s (also called conchae) are bony prominences found on the lateral walls of the nasal airways. They bulge into the lumen. They are covered with mucosa, which is a layer of moist tissue rich with nerve endings. There’s a total of 3 turbinate’s on each wall: upper, middle, and inferior. Furthermore, the inferior turbinate is the largest of the three, and therefore it is the focus of both turbinectomy and turbinoplasty.

The function of nasal turbinates is to:

  • Humidifier air
  • Regulate its temperature
  • Help in its filtration

The mucosa covering the turbinates normally gets enlarged as part of the nasal cycle, or due to irritation (allergies or an infection).

In some people, the nasal turbines can be chronically enlarged. This causes an exaggeration of the “nasal-stuffiness” feeling caused by the nose cycle and irritation.

Rhinoplasty Surgery Video – Is it right for you? by Dr Stephen Kleid


What is Turbinoplasty?

Turbinoplasty is surgery to reshape the nasal turbines to relieve the symptoms of obstruction. It is sometimes referred to as “turbinectomy” if the removal of the inferior turbinate is attempted. Turbinoplasty and turbinectomy are often interchangeable and they both mean nasal turbinate reduction.

The goal of turbinate reduction is to widen your nasal chamber to relieve any symptoms of obstruction.

The duration of turbinectomy is around 15-20 minutes. It is a simple surgery, however, it involves complex techniques.

Dr. Kleid will cauterize, cut, or/and break the conchae to treat your large turbinate’s. The combination of techniques depends on your specific case. We can combine Turbinate surgery with a septoplasty if you suffer from septum deviation that contributes to your symptoms.


Who Needs Turbinoplasty?

You may need a turbinectomy if you:

  • Feel your nose is always blocked (stuffy or congested)
  • Have recurrent nosebleeds
  • Have nasal crusting
  • Get bad allergies
  • Feel like your breathing is restricted
  • Have trouble sleeping
  • Have frequent headaches or facial pain
  • Snore at night
  • Rely heavily on mouth breathing during exercise

If this sounds like you, then its possible you have a nasal obstruction. This can be due to either septum deviation or large turbinate’s. During your physical exam, Dr. Kleid can tell you exactly what the problem is, and how you can fix the nasal obstruction.

rhinoplasty benefits Dr Stephen Kleid

Benefits of Turbinoplasty

There are many symptoms that are a result of enlarged turbinates and nasal obstruction. This means that reducing the turbinate’s with or without surgery can have many benefits.

Potential benefits of turbinoplasty include:

  • Relief of congestion and stuffiness
  • Better quality sleep
  • Reduction in snoring
  • Less crusting and nosebleeds
  • Improvement to allergies and cold symptoms
  • As well as, better and seamless breathing.

We often don’t appreciate how easily we breath until we lose the ability, like when we get a cold or the flu. Similarly, you wont know what your missing out on until after surgery.

If you have nasal obstruction and would like to improve your breathing and quality of life, then turbinate surgery is for you. Surgery is the best way to treat nasal obstruction and relieve stuffiness.


How is Turbinoplasty Performed?

There is not one technique when it comes to Turbinate reduction surgery. Every person is different therefore Dr Kleid needs to approach every surgery differently. He may use and combine several different techniques to reduce your turbinate’s. However the goal is still the same, to make your nasal airway wider, allowing the air to flow more freely.

Dr Stephen Kleid may combine any of the following, depending on the patient:


  • This technique involves surgically cutting the lower turbinate to remove it.
  • Dr. Kleid uses a microdebrider, debrider, electric cautery, and other surgical instruments to trim the soft turbinate tissue.
  • Sometimes, he might also remove part of the bone.
  • He can achieve this through either traditional open surgery, or with the help of an endoscope.


  • Dr. Kleid will push the turbinate in a way to reshape it so that it’s out of the way and not causing anymore obstruction.
  • We call this technique the outfracture technique.


  • With this technique, Dr. Kleid inserts a needle-like device into your nose and sticks it into the flesh covering the turbinate.
  • The device heats up and burns the tissue to reduce the size of the turbinate.

Radiofrequency ablation

  • This is a technique that uses a high-frequency electrical current.
  • The current is transmitted through a thin probe that’s inserted into the turbinate.
  • The radio waves heat the tissue and cause it to dissolve.

Dr Kleid takes extreme care to not widen the nose too much. In general, minimal widening can have exponential improvement on airflow. Thanks to years of experience Dr Kleid, can find the right balance to improve your breathing with minimal surgery.

In general, turbinate surgery takes around 15-20 mins to complete. It’s a day procedure, so you should have someone ready to take you home after your procedure.


Rhinoplasty Before and After Gallery

See more of Dr Stephen Kleid’s previous nose surgery patients before and after surgery


Can Turbinoplasty Be Combined with Other Procedures?

Yes. Getting a turbinoplasty gives you the chance to change other things you don’t like about your nose or straighten your nasal septum.

In general, you can combine a turbinate reduction with:

  • Rhinoplasty (nose job).
    • It reshapes your nose and gives it a shape that’s more harmonic with your face.
    • A rhinoplasty can make your nose smaller, bigger, wider, narrower, etc.
  • Septoplasty
    • Septal deviation often accompanies large turbinate’s to cause nasal obstruction. This is why Dr. Kleid often performs septoplasty (septum correction) and turbinectomy at the same time.

We can also combine other nose procedures, like tipplasty and alarplasty, with turbinectomy. This are “rhinoplasty variants”.

risks nose surgery risks nose surgery Dr Stephen Kleid

What Are the Complications of Turbinoplasty

Turbinoplasty is a relatively safe surgery with very rare complications. However, like any surgery, there are still some rare complications that you should be aware of, including:

  • Nasal wound infection
  • Blood infection
  • Thin atrophic nose tissue – Atrophic rhinitis (if an excess of tissue is taken out)
  • Tear duct injury
  • Scarring inside the nose
  • Persistent nosebleed

If you develop either a fever or pain, you should come to visit Dr. Kleid as soon as possible.

Persistent bleeding should prompt an ER visit. Although, these are rare complications you need to be vigilant.

Why Choose Dr Kleid for Rhinoplasty?

Dr Stephen Kleid
Cosmetic Rhinoplasty

Dr Stephen Kleid is an experienced ENT Surgeon (Otolaryngologist) based in Melbourne with a passion for Septo-rhinoplasty, Septoplasty and a strong interest in Rhinoplasty Revision.

Dr Kleid’s Procedures


Recovery After Turbinoplasty

Recovery after turbinate reduction can take 3-4 weeks. Unfortunately you can expect to feel some discomfort during this time. However, it is often easy to manage with painkillers.

Below are the possible turbinoplasty side effects:

  • Pain both in and around your nose
  • Swelling of the nose, under the eyes, and above the lips
  • Numbness
  • Bloody nasal discharge
  • A feeling of stuffiness and congestion

You can generally go back to work 1-2 weeks after your turbinoplasty. By this time, most of the symptoms will have improved and you will be able to live your life normally. 

You may also have nasal packing (gauze stitch into your nostril) for a few days after surgery. Dr Kleid will let you know when you can come to have it taken out.

close-up. doctor making notes on the clipboard . health care concept.

Dos and Don’t After Turbinoplasty

Here are some post turbinectomy recovery tips to help you heal faster:

  • DONT
    • Eat spices
    • Sleep on either your side or stomach
    • Blow your nose after sneezing
  • Do
    • Open your mouth wide when breathing
    • Use ice packs and cold towels to reduce swelling
    • Avoid risky sports (football, hockey, etc)
    • Use a saline spray to moisturize and clean your nose
Cost-of-ENT Surgery

Cost of Turbinoplasty

Is turbinoplasty expensive? How much is the price for turbinate surgery? Is it covered by insurance? These are probably the first questions that come to mind when considering surgery.

Both Turbinectomy and septoplasty are covered by Medicare and insurance in Australia. This is because the procedures are “medically necessary”, in other words, they treat significantly symptomatic nasal obstruction that is not responding to medical treatment.

So, if you have large turbinate’s or a deviated septum and want turbinoplasty and/or septoplasty, you’re eligible for a rebate.


How long does Turbinoplasty surgery take?

Turbinoplasty surgery usually takes around 15 to 20 minutes. It might take more if other things are also performed, like septoplasty. In such cases, it might take up to 1 hour or more.

Is turbinate surgery painful?

Turbinate reduction is not especially painful. Nevertheless, there is some degree of pain involved. The pain after turbinectomy is not bad and is handled effectively with regular painkillers.

Does Turbinoplasty change your nose shape?

Sometimes, if your turbinate’s are too enlarged, they might cause either deformity or asymmetry to the nose. In such cases, yes a turbinate reduction can change the way your nose looks. If you are not satisfied with the shape of your nose, rhinoplasty can be done in combination with your turbinate surgery.

Is Turbinoplasty the same as turbinate reduction?

Turbinoplasty and turbinate reduction are used interchangeably. They both mean changing the shape and size of the turbinate’s to improve airflow. Some might argue, though,  that turbinoplasty refers to specific techniques in turbinate reduction.

How long will I bleed after turbinate reduction?

You might have a bloody discharge for the first week after your turbinate surgery. Occasional nasal discharge and spotting are normal. However, persistent bleeding after any nose surgery is not normal and should prompt an ER visit.

What is the success rate of turbinate reduction surgery?

According to one study, the success rate of turbinoplasty was found to be 82% after a full month of surgery. The researchers found, though, that satisfaction decreased to 60% after 3 months of turbinoplasty. This is why it is important to choose an experienced ENT surgeon to get the best out of your turbinate surgery.

Is a turbinate reduction safe?

Turbinate reduction is a safe procedure. Serious side effects and complications are very rare.

How long does it take to heal from turbinate reduction?

In total, the healing period can take 3-4 weeks. You can, however, go back to work after 1-2 weeks of turbinectomy recovery. By then, most of the symptoms would have improved significantly. Although some swelling will persist for a few more weeks.

How long will I be congested after turbinate reduction?

The first week is the worst after turbinate reduction. You will have some pain, swelling, nasal stuffiness, and congestion. However, these should dissipate and improve during the second week. Saline sprays can help relieve the congestion after turbinectomy.

What causes turbinates to enlarge?

Turbinate’s enlarge as a result of irritation caused by allergies, infections (cold or flu), or the chronic use of nasal sprays.

Will turbinate reduction help post nasal drip?

Yes. One of the symptoms of enlarged turbinate surgery is having a postnasal drip. Getting a turbinectomy can help relieve this.

What should I eat after a turbinate reduction?

You can eat anything you like, but we recommend that you avoid spicy foods since they can irritate the nasal and oral mucosa.

Can I clean my nose after septoplasty and turbinate reduction?

You can clean your nose after getting septoplasty or turbinoplasty using saline water or distilled water. You just insert the tip of the spray carefully and slowly through your nostril and spray it in. Do not blow your nose under any circumstances.

Is turbinate reduction surgery permanent?

Turbinectomy results last for a long time, however, there’s a chance of recurrence. In case your turbinates become enlarged again after surgery, then another revision surgery might be required.

How do you sleep after septoplasty?

After septoplasty, it is recommended that you sleep on your back and not on your sides. This prevents swelling on a single side of your face.

Will turbinate reduction help allergies?

Yes. Having large turbinates can lead to worse allergy symptoms. The feeling of obstruction will be exaggerated, you will feel more stuffiness and will have a more runny nose. Getting a turbinectomy can reduce the symptoms of allergy.

How do you reduce turbinates naturally?

You can relieve congestion without surgery in several ways. You can use decongestants, saltwater, avoid irritants, and avoid smoking.

What is the best method for turbinate reduction?

There’s no best method for turbinate reduction. Some studies have tried to compare different turbinoplasty methods and found no meaningful difference in terms of success. The best way to reduce your turbinates depends on your specific case and what your surgeon finds during surgery.

Can swollen turbinates cause migraines?

Yes. Swollen turbinates can block your sinuses and cause facial pain and migraine.

How do I know if my turbinates are enlarged?

If you have chronic nasal congestion, nasal crusting, nosebleeds, snoring, and migraines, then you might have enlarged turbinates. Dr. Kleid will be able to tell after doing a physical exam.

Can swollen turbinates cause sleep apnea?

Yes. Swollen turbinate’s are not by themselves the main cause of sleep apnea, however, they can contribute to the symptoms of obstruction. Therefore, undergoing a Turbinoplasty can help with sleep apnea.

Can swollen turbinates cause fatigue?

If your swollen turbinates are causing you sleep troubles and sleep apnea, then they might contribute to daytime fatigue.

Will I have more energy after sinus surgery?

Turbinectomy relieves nasal obstruction and improves your nighttime sleep, This will lead to more energy during the day.


Impact of Middle versus Inferior Total Turbinectomy on Nasal Aerodynamics
A Prospective Study of Different Methods of Inferior Turbinate Reduction
Comparison of two partial middle turbinectomy techniques for the treatment of a concha bullosa
The stuffy nose: a comparative study of two common methods of treatment
Turbinate surgery: how effective is it? A long-term assessment
Turbinoplasty or Turbinectomy Surgery: What to Expect at Home
What Is Turbinectomy Surgery?
Turbinectomy: Procedure and Follow-Up
Turbinectomy | healthdirect

Why Choose Dr Kleid for Rhinoplasty?

Dr Stephen Kleid
Cosmetic Rhinoplasty

Dr Stephen Kleid is an experienced ENT Surgeon (Otolaryngologist) based in Melbourne with a passion for Septo-rhinoplasty, Septoplasty and a strong interest in Rhinoplasty Revision.

Dr Kleid’s Procedures

How can we help?

Dr Kleid’s Team takes pleasure in assisting you with any questions when considering a plastic surgery procedure. Please call the Hawthorn East clinic in Melbourne between 8 am – 6 pm on Weekdays.

Phone,  Email or Book a free 15-minute Call with Dr Kleid’s team.

What Next?

Want more information about your Procedure?

  • For more information about pricing and payment methods, please visit our page on Surgery Payment options.
  • Talk to our Patient Care Team from 8 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday on 
    1300 264 811

What to Bring to Your Consultation

  • If you like, please bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices.
  • Take a lot of notes and thoroughly examine the documents your surgeon provides.

How to Book a Consultation

  • Dr Kleids Consultation fee is $600 which includes a nasendoscopy ($300).
  • A referral from your Doctor is helpful to claim any Medicare or Health Insurance rebate but is not necessary for a consult.
  • Please contact the Patient Care Team at Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery today to book your consultation.