Breathe Easier With Septoplasty For Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea can be an exhausting experience. Restless nights, shortness of breath, and interrupted sleep can increase the risk of other serious medical problems such as stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other cardiovascular conditions. Fortunately, sleep apnea sufferers don’t have to agonize in the long-term with septoplasty surgery.

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What causes sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is caused by obstruction to the airways. Excess weight and obesity, as well as large tongues and tonsils, a recessed chin, or a large overbite, can increase the risk of suffering from sleep apnea. A deviated septum, or displacement of the nasal passages, can also block the flow of air and lead to sleep apnea.

How is sleep apnea treated?

Sleep apnea can be treated with a variety of therapies ranging from breathing devices to surgery. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) masks can help people breathe more comfortably by providing a steady airflow into the nasal airway. CPAP masks, however, go over the nose and mouth and can be uncomfortable for some to wear every night.

Can septoplasty help with sleep apnea?

Nose surgery is another common and effective method to treat sleep apnea when other treatments have not worked. Septoplasty is a procedure performed on patients with a deviated septum to straighten the bone and cartilage between the nostrils. An ENT doctor will examine the patient’s septum with an endoscope, a thin and light medical instrument with a small camera attached, to see inside the body.

What happens during surgery?

Septoplasty patients will be under general anesthesia for the entire procedure, which could last anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half. The ENT surgeon will make a small incision in the soft layer between the septum. The surgeon will remove the obstruction, shift the septum back into position, and add soft silicone splints for support if needed.

Recovery from septoplasty

Patients are advised to avoid demanding physical activity to maintain the stitches in place. Patients can fully heal anywhere from 3-6 months after the septoplasty. After the nose heals, patients may begin to breathe better than ever before and sleep through the night. For more information about whether septoplasty is the right treatment, speak with an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist.

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