Nasal obstruction is a fairly common problem. If you have a nasal obstruction, you probably have trouble breathing through your nose. In some cases, your rhinologist may recommend a surgery, such as septoplasty or turbinate surgery, to open nasal passages and help you breathe again.
Who is a Candidate?
Anyone with nasal obstruction may be a candidate for septoplasty or turbinate surgery. Nasal obstruction can be caused by a number of problems, such as allergies or narrow nasal passages due to variety of disorders. Often, narrow nasal passages are the result of problems with the nasal septum or turbinates.
What to Expect
The nasal septum is a structure made of cartilage and bone that divides your nasal passages into the right and left sides. A deviated septum refers to a septum that is crooked or pushed to one side. Many people have a deviated septum from birth that doesn’t ever cause any problems. However, trauma to the nose or age-related changes may worsen the deviation over a lifetime.
A deviated septum can block your nose leading to nasal congestion and difficulty with nasal breathing. Surgery to correct a deviated septum is called a septoplasty. Sometimes, septoplasty is a necessary part of other surgical procedures, like sinus surgery or nasal tumor removal.
During this procedure, your surgeon will reshape the cartilage and bone that have led to the septum being deviated. The procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis. This means that patients come in and go home the same day. In specific situations, you may have temporary splints or packing inside your nose during the healing process. However, most patients do not require any splints or packing.
The turbinates are structures on the sidewall of the inside of the nose made of bone and soft tissue. They help warm and moisturize air as it flows through the nose to the lungs. The tissue of the inferior turbinates can expand in response to inflammation such as allergies, sinusitis, or viral upper respiratory infections. The inferior turbinates can block nasal airflow when they are enlarged.
In most cases, your ENT specialist will begin the treatment for your turbinate condition by prescribing a medication to decrease inflammation and help shrink the turbinates. By shrinking the turbinates, your nasal obstruction can be improved.
If you have troublesome symptoms even after using medications, you may be a candidate for surgery to shrink the size of your turbinates and address any septal deviation that is causing problems with breathing through your nose.
Why Choose UHealth?
Ranked No. 28 in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report. The ranking reflects the team’s dedication to excellence in research patient care and outcomes. Surgeons, audiologists, biomedical engineers, speech pathologists, researchers, and psychologists collaborate with many research programs at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine to deliver the best possible multidisciplinary care to pediatric and adult ear, nose, and throat patients.
Highly specialized rhinology doctors. The experts at University of Miami Health are here to help you breathe easier, smell better, and rest better with an accurate diagnosis and leading edge treatments in a compassionate setting. Our fellowship-trained providers specialize in the nasal airway, and our rhinology specialists have completed specialized training in nasal and sinus disorders. They have dedicated their clinical and research careers to caring for nasal and sinus disorders.
Our academic health center provides you with more treatment options. Our ENT specialists are experts in the field of rhinology. As part of an academic health center, we are proud to offer breakthrough treatments not available to other facilities in South Florida. We also offer our patients early access to clinical trials and new medical and procedural treatments. We provide comprehensive care for a wide array of rhinologic conditions, backed by expertise, research, and education.
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