For patients who have difficulty breathing through their nose, life can be miserable. Snoring, obstructive sleep apnea, and annoying mouth breathing can be due to an anatomic abnormality in the nose. Part of the problem can be a crooked middle part of the inside of the nose called the nasal septum. This can be due to previous trauma or can be something that a person is born with. Determining if the septum is contributing to difficulty breathing can be done in the office by looking into the nose, sometimes with a small endoscope.
Are you a candidate for a Septoplasty?
Determining if a patient requires simple septoplasty surgery or a more extensive rhinoplasty, or nasal reshaping surgery, requires the expertise of a physician wtih training and experience in nasal surgery. Building a functional and cosmetically appealing nose is often considered the most challenging surgery performed by plastic surgeons. A simple septoplasty can often be undertaken in patients with breathing difficulty through the nose and no obvious outer deformity. A thorough examination is needed though as collapse of the outside wall of the nose can contribute to difficulty breathing and must be addressed through a more complex rhinoplasty procedure.
Septoplasty surgery is most often performed using general anesthesia. Depending on a patient's other medical conditions though, deep sedation can be used though it is less desireable. Incisions for septoplasty surgery are made inside of the nose and are not seen from the outside. The cartilage or bone of the septum is removed leaving enough to provide for needed nasal support.
After Septoplasty Surgery
Most patients can return to normal activities within a week after septoplasty surgery. Splints are usually placed inside of the nose for a week and removed in the office at the post operative visit. These splints can cause difficulty breathing through the nose but serve to hold things in place while initial healing occurs. After the splints are removed, most patients will experience results within 2-3 days.
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