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Plast Reconstr Surg. 2009 Jun;123(6):1704-1079. doi: 10.1097/PRS.0b013e31819b69b1. Epub 2009 Mar 23.

Outfracture of the Inferior Turbinate: A Computed Tomography Study.

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Departments of Otorhinolaryngology and Radiology*, Baskent University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey.



Various surgical treatment modalities are available for inferior turbinate (IT) hypertrophy. Each is related with well-established complications, but still there is a lack of consensus on the optimal technique. Outfracture of the IT is thought to be a minimal destructive procedure among all other reductive turbinate interventions. Our aim was to assess the long term effects of IT outfracture technique in patients with mild or moderate IT hypertrophies.


Twenty ITs in 10 patients were outfractured during a septoplasty procedure. The distance of the IT bone to the lateral nasal wall was compared at 3 different levels of the nasal passage before and after (at 9 months) surgery with computed tomography scans of each patient at (1) the first section in which the IT bone could be seen entirely (anterior portion), (2) the level of the maxillary sinus ostium (middle portion), (3) the last section in which the IT bone could be seen entirely (posterior portion).


A statistically significant degree of lateralization was observed at all levels in all patients. The mean lateralization rates were 15%, 26%, and 23% for the right side, and 26%, 29%, and 25% for the left side at first, second, and third levels, respectively. There was no bleeding, edema, or crusting due to the outfracture procedure in any patient.


Our results suggest that outfracture of the IT is an effective and durable technique, which can be performed easily to enlarge the nasal airway in mild and moderate IT hypertrophies with minimal morbidity.

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