Does the Effect of Inferior Turbinate Outfracture Persist?

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Abstract

Background:

To resolve nasal obstruction in rhinoplasty, inferior turbinate outfracture is performed widely alone or combined with other procedures. There are conflicting reports on the effect of inferior turbinate outfracture. This study evaluated the persistence of morphologic changes after inferior turbinate outfracture.

Methods:

This retrospective study enrolled 55 patients who underwent inferior turbinate outfracture without septal surgery to approach the sphenoid sinus for brain tumor removal. Coronal paranasal sinus computed tomographic images obtained preoperatively and 6 months postoperatively were compared. The authors measured the shortest distance from the median line to the medial border of the conchal bone and the shortest distance from the medial border of the conchal bone to the lateral nasal line. The authors also gauged the projection angle of the conchal bone and constitutional thickness of the inferior turbinate.

Results:

After inferior turbinate outfracture, the shortest distance from the median line to the medial border of the conchal bone increased, and shortest distance from the medial border of the conchal bone to the lateral nasal line decreased. The projection angle decreased significantly by 6 months postoperatively. After outfracture, the thickness of the medial mucosa had increased significantly, wheras the thickness of the conchal bone had decreased significantly (p < 0.05).

Conclusions:

The effect of inferior turbinate outfracture is preserved for at least 6 months. Moreover, compensatory hypertrophy of the medial mucosa develops in the inferior turbinate after outfracture. Therefore, outfracture with medial submucosal volume reduction would be recommended as the best procedure for treating inferior turbinate hypertrophy.

CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE:

Therapeutic, IV.

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