The 2 Main Types of Nasal Surgery for Sleep Apnea Your 2 Minute Guide

nasal surgeryLifestyle changes such as weight loss, improved diet and better sleep hygiene are common treatments used for sleep apnea. However, when such treatments cease to work surgical intervention may be needed.

There are a number of different surgical procedures that can be used to treat sleep apnea. When the improvement of air passage is needed nasal surgery is often undertaken. There are two main types of nasal surgery that can be used to help deal with sleep apnea.

Rhinoplasty

A type of cosmetic plastic surgery, rhinoplasty is a procedure that is done to reshape or correct defects in the nose.  For this type of surgery an incision is made on the inside of the nose in order to allow access to the cartilage and other nasal bones.  Any nasal blockage is corrected and the nose is restructured to allow better breathing.

Often, rhinoplasty is an outpatient procedure that may take as fast as 1-2 hours. It may be performed under local anesthesia or general anesthesia and will rarely require hospital stay. Those who need hospital admission usually only stay overnight. This procedure will require a cosmetic surgeon, otolaryngology specialist or a doctor trained under both fields. Results that come with this type of surgery can be significant or minor, depending on the extent of the procedure done.

After rhinoplasty, it is normal for patients to experience swelling or puffiness in the surrounding areas, bruising as well as pain. These side effects subside after several days and may be alleviated with cold compresses and pain medication. Risks that come with this type of procedure include complications with anesthesia, bleeding, infection and injury to the septum among other things.

 Septoplasty

This is a procedure performed in order to treat a deviated septum.  A deviated septum is a nasal abnormality where the wall between the nasal passages is displaced causing sinus infections, snoring, difficulty breathing and sleep apnea among other things.

The surgery is done to straighten or reposition the septum and eliminate any breathing obstructions which may be causing problems. To do this an incision is made on the inside in side of the septum and mucus membrane is lifted to gain access to the bones and cartilage. Obstructions are removed and the septum is straightened and provided with temporary support to help it heal properly.

Like rhinoplasty, septoplasty is an outpatient procedure that can be done under general or local anesthesia. It can be completed in as fast as one hour and is done by an otolaryngology specialist and can be done alongside rhinoplasty.

Under normal circumstances there is no visible swelling or bruising that can be observed on the outside. Nasal cavities may be packed with cotton to prevent nosebleeds. However more up to date methods may eliminate the need for this. Generally, excessive bleeding is low risk for septoplasty with only one percent encountering it.

Other risks for this kind of procedure include return of the blockage, scarring, uneven appearance of the nose, perforation of the septum and altered sensation in the nose among others.

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