Nasal airway obstruction is very common. In fact many people may not know they have at least a partial obstruction of breathing as they may have never experienced what it is like to breath well. Many patients presenting to plastic surgeons for nose reshaping or rhinoplasty are diagnosed with a nasal airway obstruction. The patients will typically report that they have no breathing problems through the nose. However, during examination a partial or complete nasal airway obstruction is diagnosed. On further questioning, it becomes evident that many of such patients do not sleep well at night or even experience worsening breathing during exercises.
There are several causes of nasal airway obstruction. Chronic allergies are a common cause of difficulty breathing. Allergies do not respond to surgical treatment and are treated with medications. Obstruction due to a deviated septum or enlarged turbinates (sometimes referred to as “meat”) can be effectively treated surgically during a procedure called rhinoplasty. It poses a surgical challenge for a plastic surgeon who is performing cosmetic rhinoplasty on a patient who also has difficulty breathing.
As the nose is made smaller and narrower during rhinoplasty, the patency of nasal airway decreases. Unfortunately there are many patients who do not breath well following their rhinoplasty procedures. Most experienced rhinoplasty surgeons will take measures to also open nasal airways to improve or at least maintain the breathing function of the nose since creating beautiful nose that is blocked is simply a useless nose. Being able to breath well is important is as the quality of sleep, ability to exercise, and the health of the heart all depend on this important function.
Vladimir Grigoryants, MD
plastic surgeon Los Angeles specializing in rhinoplasty Los Angeles