The surgical procedure involves closure of the nasal cavity affected with atrophic rhinitis by creating mucocutaneous flaps. These flaps are sutured together in two layers: first the mucosal layer, then the skin layer. The nasal cavity is kept closed for a period of 9 months; then an examination is done - if the crusts have disappeared, a revision surgery is performed and the nasal cavity is reopened. The theory behind this procedure is that the closed nasal cavity has time to heal.
The first patient to undergo Young's operation specifically to treat Atrophic Rhinitis was in Sheffield in 1963, by Austen Young, when both nostrils were closed. The patient had a chronic condition causing social ostracism due to the strong odour. Both nostrils were re-opened in 1965 and the patient has had no problem since then. However, the patient has no sense of smell and inhibited taste (i.e. cannot taste spices/herbs).
- Young, A (May 1967). "Closure of the Nostrils in Atrophic Rhinitis". The Journal of Laryngology & Otology. 81 (5): 515–524. doi:10.1017/S0022215100067426. PMID 6024992. Retrieved 2009-07-06.
- Gadre, K. C.; K. B. Bhargava; R. Y. Pradhax; J. D. Lodaya; M. V. Ingle (1971). "Closure of the nostrils (Young's operation) in atrophic rhinitis". The Journal of Laryngology and Otology. 85 (7): 711–714. doi:10.1017/s0022215100073977. PMID 5104495. Retrieved 2009-07-06.
- Poddar, Sangeet Kumar; M. V. Jagade (2001). "Modification of Modified Young's Operation in the Management of Primary Atrophic Rhinitis". Indian journal of otolaryngology and head and neck surgery. 53 (3): 252–254.