Can Rhinoplasty Benefit Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea not only disrupts your sleep patterns, but it can also increase your risk for a number of serious health issues. If you have tried all of the non-surgical fixes to no avail, consider rhinoplasty. Although it is a surgical procedure and presents its own risks, functional rhinoplasty can help control episodes of sleep apnea.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a potentially serious medical condition that causes loud snoring and repeated incidences of sudden breathing lapses during sleep. Other symptoms include daytime sleepiness, morning headaches, waking up with shortness of breath, waking up with a dry mouth and/or a sore throat, insomnia and irritability.

Although breathing lapses sound disturbing enough, sleep apnea can also cause other serious health issues. When you stop breathing, the oxygen level in your blood drops suddenly, causing your heart to work harder to deliver oxygen throughout your system. This can lead to high blood pressure and/or heart strain. Sleep apnea increases your risk of heart attack or stroke. Your risk of developing type 2 diabetes or liver disease is also higher than that of people without sleep apnea. Your loud snoring and restlessness can put a strain on your marriage too.

What Causes Sleep Apnea?

Structural issues in your nasal passages and other medical conditions can cause gaps in your breathing when you’re asleep, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. These conditions include:

  • Obesity
  • Enlarged tonsils
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Stroke
  • Heart failure
  • Kidney failure

When narrowed nasal valves exacerbate sleep apnea, rhinoplasty can help. When other physical causes are at the root of your condition, your physician can suggest other alternatives.

Before Considering Surgery

Once you receive a diagnosis, your doctor can recommend a number of ways to address sleep apnea, such as:

  • Mandibular retaining device
  • Tongue retainer
  • Position pillows
  • CPAP machine
  • Hypoglossal nerve stimulator

However, if you have found that none of these alternatives is effective for you, speak with a plastic surgeon about rhinoplasty.

How Functional and Cosmetic Rhinoplasty Are Different

These similar surgical procedures serve very different purposes. Functional nose surgery focuses on correcting an interior structural problem that is restricting air flow. In contrast, the primary purpose of cosmetic rhinoplasty is improving the exterior appearance of the nose.

Find Out More About Functional Rhinoplasty

Find out more about how rhinoplasty can help address your sleep apnea. Visit our website today, and get in touch with us at DeLuca Plastic Surgery of Albany, N. Y. Our courteous staff can answer your questions and make an appointment for you for a complimentary one-on-one consultation.

By following these post-operative care recommendations, patients of Dr. David Tauber at DeLuca Plastic Surgery often recover quickly, experience less bruising and swelling, and can return to work or social engagements in 2-3 weeks.

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