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Inferior Turbinate Reduction

Why does my child need inferior turbinate reduction?

Inferior turbinate reduction is recommended for children with enlargement of the membranes inside the nose that are causing chronic nasal congestion that does not improve with non-surgical treatments.

How does inferior turbinate reduction performed?

Inferior turbinate surgery is performed by an ear, nose, and throat surgeon. The inferior turbinates are inside the nose on both side. They extend from the front of the nose all the way to the back where the nose joins the top of the throat. Your surgeon may use heat, cold, or a special shaving tool to shrink or remove a portion of the turbinates.

Are there any instructions I need to follow before surgery?

Your child must have a physical examination by his or her pediatrician or family doctor within 30 days before surgery to make sure he or she is in good health. The doctor you see needs to complete the History and Physical form provided by our office. You must bring the completed form with you the day of surgery.

For your child's safety, it is very important that he or she have an empty stomach when anesthesia is given. Please follow Children’s Hospitals’ Eating and Drinking Guidelines. If you do not follow these guidelines, your child's surgery will be cancelled.

What can I expect after surgery?

Your child will wake up in the recovery room after surgery. When your child is awake, he or she will then be taken to the discharge area to complete their recovery. You can be with your child once he or she has been transferred to the discharge area.

  • Generally your child should avoid nose blowing for a week and heavy, strenuous activity for 7-10 days.
  • Fevers up to 102.0 F are considered normal after surgery. Call your provider for fevers over 102.0 F that do not come down with acetaminophen (Tylenol) and/or ibuprofen.
  • There may be a watery, mucus-like, or bloody discharge from the nose for up to a week.
  • Your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter or a prescription nasal spray.
  • Your child may have some pressure or discomfort in the cheeks or forehead. You can treat this short term discomfort with Tylenol® (acetaminophen) or Children's Motrin® (ibuprofen).
  • You will get a Discharge Instructions sheet before you go home which will indicate how much medicine to give and how often.
  • You can expect your child to be back to his or her regular diet within 24 hours after surgery.
  • Your child may return to daycare or school within 1-3 days of surgery.


The information provided in this brochure is not specific to your child. This information is provided as a service to our patients. The information is for educational and informational purposes only and should NOT be used as a substitute for the advice of your child’s physician.

If you have any questions, please call Children’s ENT and Facial Plastic Surgery Clinic.

Reviewed 11/2022

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This page is not specific to your child, but provides general information on the topic above. If you have any questions, please call your clinic. For more reading material about this and other health topics, please call or visit Children's Minnesota Family Resource Center library, or visit

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