Am I a good candidate for a septoplasty? Can I expect relief? (photo)

Hi, Been miserable past few months. My symptoms: nasal congestion (worst after night), headaches, fatigue and borderline sleep apnea. See CT scan. Did try Nasonex and saline irrigation for 3 months without success. Your opinion?

Doctor Answers 3

Septoplasty surgery

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Dear marcnhi,

  • A septoplasty with reduction of the inferior turbinates would be a good procedure for you
  • An exam would be necessary to evaluate the entire nose to make sure you get the best procedure for your symptoms
  • If you have any allergies, this may be improved with surgery, but it is not guaranteed
  • You may still need to use Nasonex (which should work better once you relieve the obstruction) occasionally if you have allergies

Best regards,

Nima Shemirani

Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Today for septoplasty

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The CAT scan shows a very large bone spur on the posterior portion of the septum also known as a deviated nasal septum. This can cause nasal obstruction, headaches and hinder airflow through the nose which can disrupt your sleep patterns. The septoplasty procedure would involve removing this large bone spur.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews


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Based on these CT images, the septum appears significantly deviated to the left.  The apex of this deviation comes in close proximity to the left inferior turbinate.  A septoplasty with submucosal turbinate resection would likely open up the nasal airway mechanically.  Nasal congestion may improve after septoplasty, but also may be due to nasal mucosal inflammation (allergies, afrin abuse, or chronic mucosal irritation).  Sleep apnea is very difficult to correct.  A septoplasty can frequently decrease CPAP airway resistance, but typically does not cure sleep apnea.  Headaches are also not typically cured with septoplasty, though there has been some significant study in the area - specifically regarding migraines.  Paranasal headaches, or migraine headaches with a "nasal trigger point" may involve intranasal abnormalities which may in theory irritate the end branches of the trigeminal nerve. Surgical treatment of migraines has been proposed by using septoplasty and turbinectomy.

Of course, all patients seeking evaluation for septoplasty should see a board certified plastic surgeon.

Joshua Lampert, MD,FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

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