I have always suffered from breathing problems, sinus pain and sleep disorders. I began using a CPAP breathing machine to reduce sleep apnea. I noticed great improvement in sleep and breathing after undergoing a septoplasty and Turbinate Reduction surgery.
Septoplasty is a surgical procedure used to correct a deviated septum. The septum is the bone and cartilage structure that separates the nasal cavity into two nostrils. Ideally the septum should evenly divide the nasal cavity into two equal parts. People with deviated or crooked septums have uneven nostrils that cause sinus and breathing problems. The smaller side doesn’t allow enough air in and the larger side over-compensates, creating a problem called compensatory hypertrophy. Severe are extended septum deviation may also require turbinate reduction. The nasal turbinates or concha are coil shaped or spiral shell like structures in the nose. These structures aid in air flow, but become enlarged when the septum is deviated.
Depending upon the extent of the deviated septum, an allergist or rhinological surgeon may recommend corrective septoplasty surgery. Septoplasty excises (cuts away) tissue to straighten and reform the septum. The degree of septum deviation is graduated from 1-4 (4 being the most severe). If the turbinates are deformed, the physician may also perform a turbinate reduction with the septoplasty. Turbinate reduction (also called resection) involves roto-rooter like procedure that digs out excess flesh.
Birth deformity or injury to the nose can cause a deviated septum. I was born with a crooked nose and injured in a fall several years ago. My deviated septum measured 3.5 and a septoplasty with turbinate reduction was ordered. The surgical procedure is done in outpatient surgery in a hospital under complete anesthesia. Septoplasty with Turbinate Reduction surgery takes about 90 minutes. To aid in the correction of the septum, plastic splints are attached by a single stitch to each side of the septum to hold it in place and help it grow straight. These splints are removed a few days after surgery.
Recovery time varies from several days to about two weeks. Mine septoplasty recuperation lasted about two weeks because I also had the turbinate reduction. I could return to work after 5-6 days, but it took two weeks for full recovery. The best way to speed recovery is to flush or irrigate the nose with salt water in a Neti-Pot every hour or two for the first week. Septoplasty and turbinate reduction is a bloody, messy surgical procedure, but greatly aids breathing and sleep. I haven’t slept so well in decades as I have since my septoplasty surgery.
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