Nasal Surgery for Sleep Apnea
When a patient suffers from obstructive sleep apnea, the goal is to help the patient get the oxygen they need while they sleep. Increasing the passageway to allow for better air intake is one option. This can be accomplished with multiple options, one being nasal surgery. At Dallas Oral Surgery Associates, we can review the structure of your nose and throat and discuss various surgical and non-surgical options to alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnea, including nasal surgery.
Most air is breathed in through the nose. Some patients' nasal cavities are limited in size, reducing how much air can pass. This can affect their breathing during the day, but even more so at night due to positioning and a collapse of muscles when the body relaxes.
The most common nasal surgical procedure to increase the airway is known as a septoplasty and a turbinate reduction. Both treatments are generally an outpatient procedure. The process includes straightening the septum and reducing the size of the turbinates.
Your nose contains a bony structure known as the septum. For some patients, the septum can be crooked or deviated. This can be congenital or due to an impact injury. A deviated septum can limit the amount of air that you can breathe in through your nasal passages. This can cause limited breathing while you're awake, and while you're sleeping, including obstructive sleep apnea.
We can straighten your septum in an outpatient procedure with either a local anesthetic or under general anesthesia depending on the work being done. Once the patient is comfortable, we then work to straighten or remove bone as needed to increase the nasal cavity and allow for better breathing. Some patients may also be suffering from a nasal valve collapse. This could be due to weakness in the lower nasal cartilages. This could make it difficult for the nostrils to stay open. For patients who have this issue, we can use the deviated cartilage that we removed in surgery from the septum and strategically place it to strengthen the valve and thereby prevent this collapse.
Turbinates are a small curved bone inside your nose. Your nose has three turbinates on each side of the nose. These bones have a spongy lining that both cleans and moisturizes the air as it moves through your nose into your lungs. Patients with allergies can experience swelling in these bones making it more difficult to breathe and contribute to sleep apnea. A reduction of these bones can help the patient have a larger airway increasing their ability to breathe better. Turbinate reduction surgery is often performed during a septoplasty.
The first step in improving your nasal cavity and better breathing is scheduling a consultation. We will investigate the disorder and review your options with you. For some patients, the answer may be as simple as wearing a retainer-like device while you sleep, for others we have different surgical treatments to help. For more information, contact our Dallas office at 214-363-9946.