Turbinoplasty – Enlarged Turbinate Surgery in Melbourne

Turbinoplasty is a surgical procedure designed to address enlarged turbinates and improve nasal airflow. If you have been experiencing chronic nasal congestion, difficulty breathing through your nose, or recurrent sinus infections, you may be a candidate for Turbinoplasty.

Whether you are seeking relief from nasal obstruction or looking to improve your overall nasal function, we have gathered all the essential information you need to make informed decisions about Turbinoplasty in Melbourne.


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What are Nasal Turbinate’s?


Nasal turbinates, also known as nasal conchae, are bony structures located inside the nasal passages. There are three pairs of turbinates in each nostril: the inferior, middle, and superior turbinates. These structures are covered with a layer of tissue called the nasal mucosa, which helps humidify and filter the air we breathe. The turbinates play a crucial role in regulating airflow and directing it through the nasal passages. However, when the turbinates become enlarged or swollen due to various factors, they can obstruct the nasal passages, leading to symptoms such as nasal congestion, difficulty breathing, and recurrent sinus problems. Turbinoplasty is a surgical procedure specifically designed to address enlarged turbinates and restore normal nasal airflow.

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.

Anatomy and Physiology of Nasal Turbinates

To understand the significance of turbinates in nasal health, it is important to have a clear understanding of the nasal chambers and their structures. The nasal passages consist of two chambers, one on the right and one on the left, which are connected by the nasal septum. The nasal septum acts as a shared middle wall, separating the chambers.

Within each chamber, there are lateral walls that contain bony prominences known as turbinates or conchae. These turbinates protrude into the nasal cavity, forming intricate structures. The nasal mucosa, a layer of moist tissue rich in nerve endings, covers the turbinates.

Each lateral wall contains three turbinates: the upper, middle, and inferior turbinates. Among them, the inferior turbinate is the largest and the primary focus of turbinectomy and turbinoplasty procedures.

Under normal circumstances, the mucosa covering the turbinates can undergo temporary enlargement as part of the nasal cycle or due to irritation caused by allergies or infections. However, in some individuals, the turbinates may become chronically enlarged, leading to a persistent feeling of nasal stuffiness and discomfort.

Understanding the anatomy and physiology of nasal turbinates is crucial in recognizing the role they play in nasal airflow and the potential impact of their enlargement on nasal function.


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

Potential Benefits of Turbinoplasty

Enlarged turbinates and nasal obstruction can give rise to a multitude of troublesome symptoms. Therefore, reducing the size of the turbinates, whether through surgical intervention or alternative treatments, can yield significant advantages and improvements.

Turbinoplasty has the following potential benefits:

  • Congestion and Stuffy Nose Relief
    • Turbinate surgery can helps alleviate nasal congestion and the persistent feeling of a stuffy nose, allowing you to breathe more freely and comfortably.
  • Enhanced Sleep Quality
    • With improved nasal airflow, you can enjoy better sleep patterns.
    • Reduced nasal obstruction can prevent disturbances like snoring and disruptions in breathing during sleep.
  • Reduction in Snoring
    • Turbinate surgery has been shown to effectively reduce snoring.
  • Decreased Crusting and Nosebleeds
    • Enlarged turbinates can cause dryness and irritation, leading to crust formation and nosebleeds.
    • Turbinate surgery can alleviate these issues, providing relief and a healthier nasal environment.
  • Improved Allergy and Cold Symptoms
    • Enlarged turbinates often exacerbate allergy symptoms and the discomfort of colds.
    • By addressing the underlying obstruction, turbinate surgery can help alleviate these symptoms and enhance your overall well-being.
  • Seamless Breathing
    • One of the most significant benefits of turbinate surgery is the restoration of smooth, unimpeded breathing.

Turbinoplasty Surgery – Individualized Techniques for Enhanced Nasal Function


Turbinate surgery, also known as turbinoplasty or turbinectomy, is a specialized procedure designed to address symptoms of nasal obstruction by reshaping the nasal turbinates. While the terms turbinoplasty and turbinectomy are often used interchangeably, they both aim to reduce the size of the nasal turbinates for improved airflow.

The primary objective of turbinate reduction is to widen the nasal chambers, providing relief from obstruction and enhancing nasal airflow.

During the surgery, Dr Kleid utilizes a variety of techniques, depending on the specific needs of the patient. These techniques may include:


  • This approach involves surgically cutting and removing the lower turbinate.
  • Dr Kleid employs instruments such as microdebriders, debriders, and electric cautery to trim the soft tissue of the turbinate.
  • In some cases, a portion of the bone may also be removed.
  • The procedure can be performed either through traditional open surgery or with the assistance of an endoscope.


  • Dr Kleid utilizes the outfracture technique, where he repositions the turbinate to reshape it and alleviate obstruction.
  • By carefully adjusting the position of the turbinate, the nasal airflow is improved.


  • In this technique, Dr Kleid inserts a specialized needle-like device into the nasal cavity and applies heat to the tissue covering the turbinate.
  • The controlled heating process reduces the size of the turbinate and helps alleviate nasal obstruction.

Radiofrequency Ablation

  • This technique involves the use of a thin probe inserted into the turbinate, which emits high-frequency electrical currents.
  • These currents generate heat, dissolving the excess tissue and reducing the size of the turbinate.

Typically, turbinate surgery is performed as a day procedure, taking around 15-20 minutes to complete. It is important to have a support person available to accompany you home after the procedure.

By employing personalized techniques and addressing the underlying causes of nasal obstruction, turbinate surgery with Dr Stephen Kleid can provide significant improvements in nasal function.

Dr Kleid approaches each turbinate surgery with utmost precision, ensuring that the nasal airway is widened appropriately without overcorrection. With years of experience, he strives for the right balance, achieving optimal improvements in nasal breathing while minimizing the extent of surgery required.

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

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Risks and Complications of Turbinoplasty

As with any surgical procedure, it is important to be aware of the potential risks and complications associated with turbinoplasty. While these occurrences are rare, it is crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of them. They include;

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

In the event that you experience a fever, persistent bleeding or persistent pain following turbinoplasty, it is important to seek prompt medical attention from Dr. Kleid. These symptoms could potentially indicate an underlying issue that requires evaluation and appropriate management.

By seeking immediate medical attention for fever or significant pain, Dr. Kleid can assess your condition, identify the underlying cause, and provide you with the necessary treatment to ensure optimal healing and recovery. Timely intervention can help prevent any potential complications and promote a successful outcome from the surgery.

Recovery After Turbinoplasty

Recovery after turbinoplasty typically requires a period of 3-4 weeks, during which you may experience some discomfort. However, it is important to note that the majority of patients find the discomfort to be manageable with prescribed painkillers or over-the-counter medications.

While recovering from turbinoplasty, it is common to experience certain side effects, which are usually temporary and subside as the healing process progresses. These side effects may include:

  • Pain
    • You may experience pain in and around your nose, which can vary in intensity.
    • This discomfort can be alleviated with the use of prescribed pain medications as directed by Dr Kleid.
  • Swelling
    • Swelling of the nose, under the eyes, and above the lips is a common occurrence after turbinoplasty.
    • The swelling gradually subsides over time as the tissues heal.
  • Numbness
    • Temporary numbness or altered sensation in the nasal area may be experienced following the surgery.
    • This numbness typically resolves as healing progresses.
  • Bloody nasal discharge
    • It is normal to experience bloody nasal discharge or a small amount of bleeding in the initial stages of recovery.
    • This is a result of the surgical manipulation of the tissues and should diminish gradually.
  • Feeling of stuffiness and congestion
    • You may feel a sense of stuffiness or congestion in the nose during the early stages of recovery.
    • This is a common post-operative symptom and will improve as the tissues heal and swelling subsides.

Resuming normal Activities

In terms of returning to your normal activities, most individuals can resume work within 1-2 weeks after turbinoplasty, however this will depend on how physically demanding your job is. By this time, many of the symptoms will have improved significantly, allowing you to carry out your daily routines with greater ease and comfort.

It is worth mentioning that some patients may require nasal packing, which involves the placement of gauze or other materials into the nostrils to provide support and control bleeding. Dr Kleid will determine if nasal packing is necessary based on your specific case, and provide instructions on how to manage it during your recovery period.

It is essential to follow all post-operative instructions provided by Dr Kleid, including proper wound care, avoiding strenuous activities, and attending scheduled follow-up appointments. This will help ensure a smooth and successful recovery.

Cost of Turbinoplasty

The exact cost of turbinoplasty can vary based on various factors, including the surgeon’s experience, location of the procedure, complexity of the case, and the specific techniques used during the surgery.

In Australia, both turbinoplasty and septoplasty procedures are often covered by Medicare and private health insurance when they are deemed medically necessary. This means that if you have significantly symptomatic nasal obstruction due to large turbinates or a deviated septum that is not responding to conservative treatments, you may be eligible for a rebate from your insurance. However, it’s important to note that even with insurance coverage, you may still have out-of-pocket costs, which can vary depending on your insurance plan and specific circumstances.

To determine the exact cost of turbinoplasty and the potential coverage from your insurance, it is recommended to consult with Dr Kleid and your insurance provider. They will be able to provide you with a more accurate estimate of the cost and any potential rebates or out-of-pocket expenses based on your individual situation.

It is important to have a clear understanding of the financial aspects before proceeding with the surgery, so you can make an informed decision about your healthcare options.

Cost-of-ENT Surgery


How long does Turbinoplasty surgery take?

Turbinoplasty surgery on its own usually takes around 15 to 20 minutes.

Is turbinate surgery painful?

Turbinate reduction is not especially painful. Nevertheless, there is some degree of pain involved. The pain after turbinectomy 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.

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.

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 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.

Is turbinate reduction surgery permanent?

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

Will turbinate reduction help allergies?

It can. 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.

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. It’s important to consult with a qualified medical professional for an accurate diagnosis.

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.

Can swollen turbinates cause fatigue?

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


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?

Dr Stephen Kleid,
Cosmetic Rhinoplasty,

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

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