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Septoplasty is an operation that corrects any defects or deformities of the nasal septum, which is the wall between the two nostrils. The goal of the surgery is to straighten out the nasal septum or to relieve obstructions or other problems related to deviation of the septum An incision is made internally on one side of the nasal septum. Afterwards, the mucous membrane is elevated away from the cartilage and bone, obstructive parts are removed, and plastic surgery is performed as necessary. Then the mucous membrane is returned to its original position. The tissues covering the septum are maintained in the midline by either sutures or packing.
Enlarged inferior turbinates are often the cause of chronic nasal congestion. Even after the underlying problem is addressed, such as chronic infection or allergy, the enlargement may remain. There are varying ways to reduce the size of the turbinate, from radio frequency ablation done in the office under local anesthesia (no down time for the patient), to submucous resection or even partial turbinectomy done in the operating room as an outpatient. Each has advantages and disadvantages over the other choices. The best approach for each patient would be discussed at the time of the office visit.
Endoscopic sinus surgery is used to increase the amount of air flowing through the sinuses and allow mucus to drain properly out of the nose. The procedure can relieve nasal blockages, improve breathing, improve the sense of smell and taste and relieve facial pain. The endoscope, which utilizes fiber optic technology, allows doctors to see inside the sinuses without cutting the face, and makes it possible to see parts of the sinuses that were formerly difficult to reach.
For mild cases of obstructive sleep apnea, treatment often consists of using methods to avoid sleeping on one's back. For people with significant nasal congestion, a decongestant therapy may be prescribed. Patients with obstructive and central apnea should avoid central nervous system depressants such as alcoholic beverages, sedatives and narcotics. Weight loss and diet control are encouraged for overweight patients.
Many serious cases of obstructive sleep apnea can be relieved by a treatment called nasal continuous positive airway pressure (nasal CPAP). Nasal CPAP uses a mask-like device and pump that work together to keep the airway open with air pressure during each inspiration. For those patients who cannot tolerate the nasal CPAP, surgical options include UvuloPalatalPharyngoplasty (UPP surgery- the shortening of the excess palate and elimination of any tonsillar tissue from the throat). If this does not "cure" the problem, then procedures to move the tongue forward such as genioglossis advancement or maxillomandibular osteotomy can be done. Some doctors also believe that radio frequency ablation of the tongue base can help. So far laser surgery of the palate has not been shown to help significant sleep apnea.
Patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) suffer from poor sleep quality, fatigue, and health risks including heart disease and high blood pressure. One of the problems associated with sleep apnea is that the mouth's soft palate partially or totally blocks, or obstructs, the patient's airway. The vibration of the soft palate is what we hear when a person snores. More dangerous is the cutting off of the patient's air supply -- he or she can stop breathing as often as hundreds of times per night and sometimes for a minute or longer each time.
The new, minimally invasive Pillar® Procedure addresses this problem by placing three small (less than 2 cm) woven inserts into the soft palate to reduce vibration and provide support to the tissues. The inserts are made of a material that has been used in implanted medical devices for over 50 years. They can't be seen or felt, and do not affect speech or swallowing. The procedure provides an attractive alternative to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment.
The Pillar Procedure can offer relief from snoring and sleep apnea-related complications, helping patients and their loved ones sleep more soundly. Talk with your doctor to see if the procedure is right for you.
For more information, visit Restore Medical online at www.restoremedical.com