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Title: Aerodynamic effects of inferior turbinate surgery on nasal airflow - A computational fluid dynamics model
Authors: Chen, X.B. 
Leong, S.C.
Lee, H.P. 
Chong, V.F.H.
Wang, D.Y.
Keywords: Airflow pattern
Computational fluid mechanics
Inferior turbinate surgery
Nasal cavity
Issue Date: Dec-2010
Citation: Chen, X.B., Leong, S.C., Lee, H.P., Chong, V.F.H., Wang, D.Y. (2010-12). Aerodynamic effects of inferior turbinate surgery on nasal airflow - A computational fluid dynamics model. Rhinology 48 (4) : 394-400. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Background: Turbinate reduction surgery may be indicated for inferior turbinate enlargement when conservative treatment fails. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of inferior turbinate surgery on nasal aerodynamics using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations. Methods: CFD simulations were performed for the normal nose, enlarged inferior turbinate and following three surgical procedures: I) resection of the lower third free edge of the inferior turbinate, 2) excision of the head of the inferior turbinate and 3) radical inferior turbinate resection. The models were constructed from MRI scans of a healthy human subject and a turbulent flow model was used for the numerical simulation. The consequences of the three turbinate surgeries were compared with an originally healthy nasal model as well as one with severe nasal obstruction. Results: In the normal nose, the bulk of streamlines traversed the common meatus adjacent to the inferior and middle turbinate in a relatively vortex free flow. When the inferior turbinate was enlarged, the streamlines were directed superiorly at higher velocity and increased wall shear stress in the nasopharynx. Of the three surgical techniques simulated, wall shear stress and intranasal pressures achieved near-normal levels after resection of the lower third. In addition, airflow streamlines and turbulence improved although it did not return to normal conditions. Radical turbinate resection resulted in intra-nasal aerodynamics of atrophic rhinitis. Conclusion: There is little evidence that inspired air is appropriately conditioned following radical turbinate surgery. Partial reduction of the hypertrophic turbinate results in improved nasal aerodynamics, which was most evident following resection of the lower third. The results were based on a single individual and cannot be generalised without similar studies in other subjects.
Source Title: Rhinology
ISSN: 03000729
DOI: 10.4193/Rhino09.196
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