Sleep Apnea And Nasal Surgery Options

24 July 2017
 Categories: , Blog


There are many different treatment options for sleep apnea, and while CPAP machines are used in the majority of cases, they may not always be optimal for everyone. If you cannot use one of the machines due to comfort issues or airflow problems through the nose, then surgical intervention may be a much better choice. There are several surgeries that can be completed, but when the nose is a factor contributing to your condition, then a septoplasty may be completed in conjunction with a turbinate reduction. Keep reading to learn about these two procedures.

What Is a Septoplasty?

Septoplasties are procedures that are completed to fix something called a deviated septum. The septum is the piece of cartilage tissues that sits between the two nostrils. A deviated septum occurs when this piece of tissue is crooked, shifted, or off-center. When this happens, the cartilage can partially obstruct either one or both nostrils, and this can lead to breathing problems. 

An ENT specialist can treat the condition with a septoplasty where the septum is surgically altered. Typically, the procedure involve an incision in the septum, and your doctor will then use a scalpel to shave away the excess cartilage and bone. This will even out the nasal passages and allow air to move properly through the nose. 

While a septoplasty is likely to be completed with a turbinate reduction, the septoplasty may also be combined with rhinoplasty to straighten the nasal bone. This can assist your breathing difficulty and it can lead to a more aesthetically pleasing nose as well. When septoplasty and rhinoplasty are combined, the surgery is called septorhinoplasty.

What Is A Turbinate Reduction?

Turbinates are the folds inside your nose that form mucous and catch contaminants like allergens as soon as they enter the nasal passages. These turbinates will often swell and become inflamed due to infection issues and allergies. The inflammation can become chronic and this type of issue can cause the partial blockage of the nasal passages. 

To open up the passages so you are able to breathe properly, an ENT will use a scalpel to physically reduce the size of the turbinates. This is often the case if the septoplasty is also performed. However, your physician may choose to use a radio frequency device to reduce turbinate size. This type of procedure destroys the tissues with the assistance of heat.

If you want to know more about the type of surgical operations that can be completed to treat sleep apnea, speak with your ENT specialist.