The specifics of what the doctor is planning to do are very important, do don't be afraid to ask questions - Dr. Steven Houser, who is one of the ENTs on the front lines of diagnosing and treating Empty Nose Syndrome (ENS), believes that turbinectomies are the primary culprit behind ENS (not everyone who has their turbinates removed ends up with ENS but it's an avoidable complication).
I've read lots of Dr. Houser's information and his position (which I will quote exactly here) is "If they said turbinectomy (not turbinate reduction) then I would avoid the surgery". There are ways to reduce the turbinates safely, Dr. Houser mentions several procedures: Outfracture, Cautery, Submucosal Resection, but notes that even these can cause problems if they're done too aggressively.
Equally important to the turbinate reduction vs. turbinectomy question are two other things you should consider:
1. Has the doctor done everything medically possible to relieve your symptoms? Before you go the route of surgery I would strongly recommend that you get tested and treated for allergies (if you haven't already), try using saline rinses using a SinusRinse bottle for several weeks, talk to your doctor about whether medications like a steroid nasal spray or even a course of oral steroids might help your sinuses get back to functioning naturally. If you're already doing all of those things with no improvement and surgery is the only option then move on to #2.
2. What is the doctor's approach to surgery and post-surgical follow up? Some docs are more aggressive than others but that's not necessarily a good thing because sinus surgery can't be reversed. I believe that the best sinus surgeons are "minimalists" (to quote my surgeon) who focus on trying to restore your sinuses to their natural function. Be sure the doctor plans to see you several times after the surgery to remove any blood clots that may cause scar tissue to form. The recommended post-surgical regimen should be something like this:
-Patients are instructed not to *blow their nose for 48 hours (or more) after surgery
-An antibiotic is typically prescribed for at least 1 week
-Sometime between the 1st and 4th days after surgery the doctor should carefully remove clots and crusts from the nasal cavity
-Healing requires at least 2-4 weeks - during that time patients should return weekly so that the ENT can remove any clots or debris from the nasal cavity using an endoscope
The follow up is very important - if this isn't what your doctor recommends then consider finding a new doctor.
I always recommend that anyone considering this surgery find a doctor - at a major medical center or teaching hospital - who specializes in treating and operating on patients with chronic sinus problems for this type of surgery (vs. an office-based ENT who may treat a wide range of conditions).