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Turbinoplasty or Turbinectomy: Before Your Surgery

What are turbinoplasty and turbinectomy?

Turbinoplasty and turbinectomy are nose surgeries. They can make it easier for you to breathe. You may have one of these surgeries if the turbinates in your nose are too large and block the airways in your nose. The turbinates help warm and moisten the air you breathe.

In a turbinoplasty, the turbinates are reshaped. In a turbinectomy, some or all of them are cut out.

Both surgeries are done through the nose.

Most people go home a few hours after surgery. You will be able to go back to work or school in about 1 week. You'll probably get back to your normal routine in about 3 weeks. But this varies with your job and the extent of your surgery. It will take about 1 to 2 months before you are back to normal.

Other types of nose surgery are sometimes done at the same time. If this is the case, your instructions and what to expect may be different.

How do you prepare for surgery?

Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.

Preparing for surgery

  • Be sure you have someone to take you home. Anesthesia and pain medicine will make it unsafe for you to drive or get home on your own.
  • Understand exactly what surgery is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
  • If you take a medicine that prevents blood clots, your doctor may tell you to stop taking it before your surgery. Or your doctor may tell you to keep taking it. (These medicines include aspirin and other blood thinners.) Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do.
  • Tell your doctor ALL the medicines and natural health products you take. Some may increase the risk of problems during your surgery. Your doctor will tell you if you should stop taking any of them before the surgery and how soon to do it.
  • Make sure your doctor and the hospital have a copy of your advance care plan. If you don't have one, you may want to prepare one. It lets others know your health care wishes. It's a good thing to have before any type of surgery or procedure.

What happens on the day of surgery?

  • Follow the instructions exactly about when to stop eating and drinking. If you don't, your surgery may be cancelled. If your doctor told you to take your medicines on the day of surgery, take them with only a sip of water.
  • Follow your doctor's instructions about when to bathe or shower before your surgery. Do not apply lotions, perfumes, deodorants, or nail polish.
  • Take off all jewellery and piercings. And take out contact lenses, if you wear them.

At the hospital or surgery centre

  • Bring a picture ID.
  • The area for surgery is often marked to make sure there are no errors.
  • You will be kept comfortable and safe by your anesthesia provider. The anesthesia may make you sleep. Or it may just numb the area being worked on.
  • The surgery will take 1 to 2 hours. It depends on how much work must be done.

When should you call your doctor?

  • You have questions or concerns.
  • You don't understand how to prepare for your surgery.
  • You become ill before the surgery (such as fever, flu, or a cold).
  • You need to reschedule or have changed your mind about having the surgery.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

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