A poor night's sleep is associated with a variety of habits, medications, inactivity, and foods. However, very commonly having a decrease in airflow to the lungs can also cause the brain and heart to overwork decreasing the ability to get a good night's rest. A decrease in airflow can occur as a result of an obstruction in the nasal airway or the oral airway, or both. Seeing a physician who specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of sleep disorders can open a dialogue that can diagnose the problem.
Snoring from a nasal obstruction generally involves deviations of existing structures, overgrowth of nasal tissues, or collapse of nasal cartilages. If you are diagnosed with a sleep disorder, addressing one or all of the above with a rhinoplasty improve breathing and the amount of air your body receives on a daily basis which is a good thing. You will want to find a rhinoplasty specialist that has expertise in not only form but also function. Typically, a surgeon who is an Otolaryngologist and a Facial Plastic Surgeon is ideal.
Very frequently, a functional rhinoplasty can address the collapse of cartilages, septal deviations, a large hanging tip, previous nasal fractures, a crooked or twisted nose, or damage from a previous rhinoplasty all of which can interfere with normal airflow through the nose and cause sleep issues. If you already wear an airway pressure device, such as CPAP, then this procedure can make wearing the associated mask more comfortable and tolerable. The functional rhinoplasty procedure takes generally two hours with a 7-10 day light recovery and an improvement you will notice in 2 weeks and for the rest of your life. In our practice, we perform the procedure in our own fully accredited surgery center with a board certified anesthesiologist which is more convenient for the patient and, usually, less expensive. Can the rhinoplasty improve breathing immediately? Generally not, as the most common complaint is nasal congestion and not pain for the first week. Unlike many other surgeons, we do not use packing inside the nose in the immediate postoperative period. Because it is performed for functional reasons, it can be covered by your health insurance. If you wish to have a cosmetic change at the same time, this is the best time to talk with your rhinoplasty specialist about this and generally there is a considerable savings over a purely cosmetic rhinoplasty. In the end, we hope you'll have a nose that not only breathes better, but looks better too.
Northside Plastic Surgery
Mike Majmundar, M.D. is a double board certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon. He is the principal of Northside Plastic Surgery.