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Breathing problems, Deviated Septum and Turbinates

Breathing problems may be attributed to various different factors.

Deviated Septum

A deviated septum occurs when the nasal septum which is the thin wall between the nasal passage is displaced to one side making one nasal passage smaller. When a deviated septum is severe it can block one side of your nose and reduce airflow causing difficulty breathing. A nasal blockage can occur from a deviated nasal septum as the tissues from the lining of the nose can swell. Treatment of this may include medication to reduce the swelling but surgery (Endonasal septoplasty) is needed to correct a deviated septum.

For some a deviated septum is present at birth, or it may be caused by injury to the nose during a lifetime.

Turbinectomy or Nasal Airway Surgery

Turbinectomy or nasal airway surgery is the surgical reduction or removal of an enlarged turbinate (nasal tissue) inside the nose. Turbinates are structures located inside the nose along the sides of the nasal cavities made of bone and are covered by soft tissue or “mucosa”. Their function is to regulate airflow and to warm and humidify air being breathed in. Turbinectomy is almost always performed through the nostrils without the need for external incisions.

Both Septoplasty and Turbinectomy (also known as Turbinoplasty)  are carried out principally to improve airflow or sinus drainage or may also be performed to control excessive nosebleeds. There can be other causes of nasal obstruction which result in difficulties in breathing such as Internal and external valve collapse and these can be addressed by Rhinoplasty surgery and not Endonasal Septoplasty.

Patients who undergo nasal surgery to correct their breathing problems may also use the opportunity to address cosmetic concerns related to the appearance of the nose and therefore Rhinoplasty is often performed in conjunction with Septoplasty and / or Turbinectomy.

Nasal Polyps

Nasal polyps

Nasal polyps are painless soft growths inside the nose, they are generally not serious, but they can keep growing and cause difficulties in breathing if not treated. They result from chronic inflammation and are associated with asthma, recurring infection, allergies, drug sensitivity or certain immune disorder. Nasal polyps are more common in adults.   If medication does not work in shrinking the polyps then surgery is necessary to remove them.

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