A submucosal resection is a surgical procedure that rectifies a nasal septum that has been deviated. The operation is performed to eliminate unnecessary tissue from the nose’s filters, also called enlarged turbinates. Turbinates with excess tissue can prevent proper breathing as well as drainage of mucous from the sinus. Excessive turbinate tissue can also cause sinusitis and aches and pains as well. When the tissues in the inferior turbinates interfere with both of the nasal cavities then a submucosal resection operation should be undertaken.
The operation is usually conducted with the help of an anesthetic. Surgeons put packing inside of the patient’s nose but will not require a splint unless a septoplasty is being performed at the same time. The actual operation requires an incision inside of the nose so that a tiny spinning blade can cut away the extra tissue. Removal of bone and septal cartilage that becomes obstructive occurs after the investing mucoperichondrial flaps are elevated. A microdebrider is used to suction out vascular tissues as well as bone from the inferior turbinate. The mucosa is preserved during this process so a submucosal resection is known as a “function preserving technique”. Yet patients who undergo the procedure still risk symptoms of ENS. Once the submucosal resection is completed, the turbinates are typically outfractured.
After the operation takes place, patients should only eat very soft foods that are cold. This will help to stop nose bleeds. Once the patient is one day removed from his submucosal resection, he will be able to eat normal foods once again. Side effects of a submucosal resection are usually not very serious. They typically include short lived bleeding as well as the hardening of blood during the healing process. Patients sometimes experience a burning sensation and what is commonly called “dry nose”. The technical term for this is atrophic rhinitis. It can result in an infection as well as pain and irritation. It occurs when the nasal cavity doesn’t have mucous. This is the result of a submucosal resection operation where too much functional tissue is removed. Although very rare, suffocation can occur when an excess of tissue is removed. When this happens, the nose is incapable of sending air in and out of the nasal cavity. Patients experiencing this style of suffocation will have to resort to mouth breathing until the problem is remedied.