A Normal Nose

The following are charts showing the turbinate structures of a normal nose, borrowed from the Empty Nose Syndrome website: http://emptynosesyndrome.org/turbinate.html. turbinates-normal

Fig 2: Front Mid face Cross Section: 3 – right superior turbinate, 5 – right middle, turbinate, 7 – right inferior turbinate.

turbinates-coronalFig 4: front (coronal view) section CT scan of nasal cavities. One can see how nicely the turbinates, especially the Inferior ones, curve and roll like a sea-shell, from a front (anterior) view.

Below, are CT scans, showing the turbinate structures of my nose, before (10-18-07) and after (1-23-08) my sinus surgery. ct scan--10-18-07-4 ct scan--1-23-08

“The term turbinates is applied to these curved, bony plates because they function like turbines to churn the air as it passes through the nasal cavity. As it circulates, the air is warmed, moistened, and cleaned, by the respiratory (=nasal) mucosa that covers the surface of the turbinates.” http://emptynosesyndrome.org/nose.html

Isn’t that beautiful? What a lovely, brilliant creation the human body is.

Why would anyone—especially an alleged “healer,” i.e., a doctor—want to change this?

I had gone to this doctor for ear ringing–tinnitus. I had never complained of a nasal or sinus issue to any doctor in my life—55 years. He found a sinus polyp upon examination. I now know that polyps are common, and asymptomatic polyps should be left alone, or treated with medicine. He had said he was going to remove the polyp. He not only removed the bony curves of my turbinates, he ripped out the mucosa, in an obsolete procedure called a Caldwell-Luc. http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/smd/RAD/neurocases/Neurocase238.htm


The suffering that has been caused by this needless, destructive surgery is almost indescribable.

The following are excerpts from research papers on turbinate reduction surgery:

“Before surgery on an inferior turbinate is undertaken, a trial of medical management is mandatory.”


“Many otolaryngologists feel the same as Willam and Mousel (17), who agreed that the nose should be left in its normal physiologic position whenever possible, including the middle turbinate.”


“Surgery is an option for those patients whose quality of life is disrupted, who have failed an adequate trial of medical therapy, or who have a contraindication to some aspect of medical therapy.”


“When taken to its extreme, the sequela of this lack of respiratory mucosa leads to a nasal cripple.”


And this is from The Rhinoplasty Center:

“(For those of you who are not familiar, atrophic rhinitis is a condition in which the nose does not have enough mucous lining. Taking out the inferior turbinates can lead to a situation where the nose is too dry and the patient loses sensation of airflow. In this situation, the patient physically has a very wide nasal airway but cannot feel the air passing through, so they complain bitterly of nasal blockage. This is an extremely debilitating problem for which there is no good treatment.) This patient illustrates clearly the reason that we condemn a “by-the-numbers” rhinoplasty. We advocate a thoughtful approach in which a careful examination allows proper diagnosis and is followed by proper treatment designed to address the specific cause of nasal obstruction.”


I had no nasal obstruction. I sought no treatment for any. I met an ENT whose “by-the-numbers” turbinate reductions just happened to include anybody who walked through his door.


~ by ens3 on August 27, 2009.

One Response to “A Normal Nose”

  1. […] are bone covered in mucosa. For a description of what they look like and what they do, please see A Normal Nose. Empty Nose Syndrome is a horribly painful condition for which there is no cure. The nose feels as […]

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