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Septoplasty / Turbinoplasty & Nasal Valve Surgery

Mouth breathing, dryness of the mouth, stuffy nose, shortness of breath with exertion, and nasal or facial pressure can all be symptoms of nasal airway blockage. While not caused by nasal obstruction, snoring can be exacerbated by it. Nasal airway obstruction can be caused by several mechanisms and sites within the nasal passage:

  • Crookedness of the wall (the septum) that separates the nasal cavities into right and left sides known as a septal deviation
  • Swelling of tissues inside the nose known as turbinate hypertrophy
  • Constriction of the outer nasal wall at the bottom of the nose (nasal sills) known as external nasal valve obstruction
  • Collapsibility and constriction of the internal nasal valve-the region of the airway with the greatest natural resistance to airflow.

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Correction of deviated septum

After discussion of symptoms with the patient and careful examination to establish the actual obstruction site, the treatment, either surgical or medical, to best address the problem can be determined.

Medical treatment of nasal congestion consists of decongestants, anti-inflammatory (prescription) steroid nasal sprays, or a trial of oral or nasal spray antihistamines, especially if allergies are present. A short treatment with oxymetazoline (Afrin) may be tried as a diagnostic measure for turbinate enlargement. These treatments attempt to reduce swelling (volume) of the turbinates to decrease the blockage in the nasal airway. Environmental allergy work-up may be necessary in some patients. Problems due to septal deviation or valve blockage may be resolved using non-prescription products such as sinus cone inserts or “breathe-right” strips. If medical treatment fails to resolve the breathing problem a surgical solution may be advisable.

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    Before/After

Correction of deviated nose and septum

Dr. Zemplenyi performs a variety of surgical treatments for relief of nasal obstruction at the Bel-Red Center for Aesthetic Surgery. Treatments directed at the cause of the nasal blockage range from turbinoplasty to reduce turbinate volume, septoplasty to reposition the septum wall into the midline for airway improvement or reconstruction of the nasal valve, indicated especially if a patient experiences relief with sinus cones or breath-rite strips. Dr. Zemplenyi’s training in otolaryngology and plastic surgery is especially useful for these reconstructive nasal procedures. Some of these procedures can be performed without leaving any external scarring. Depending on a variety of factors, sedation “twilight sleep” or general anesthesia may be used.

Following surgery, for increased patient comfort, Dr. Zemplenyi does not leave nasal packing in place overnight. Narcotic medications and Tylenol can be used for treatment of mild discomfort during the post-operative one to three days. Return to work is common in three to seven days following surgery. Since these surgical procedures are designed to improve a medical condition they are covered by medical insurance Furthermore, the procedure described above may be combined with cosmetic rhinoplasty (cosmetic nasal surgery, “nose job”). As opposed to surgery for nasal breathing, cosmetic surgery is not covered by medical insurance.