While nasal obstruction due to a deviated septum does not directly cause obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), there is a link between septum deviation and sleep breathing disorders, including snoring and sleep apnea. Although not usually a cure unto itself, the surgical procedure called septoplasty will improve breathing by straightening a deviated septum, subsequently alleviating some of the symptoms of sleep apnea in addition to increasing the effectiveness of other treatments.
A deviated septum occurs when the thin wall (nasal septum) between your nasal passages is displaced to one side. When a deviated septum is severe, it can block one side of your nose and reduce airflow, causing difficulty breathing. Most of the time, there are few or no symptoms that would lead a person to think they have a deviated septum, but there are possible signs and symptoms including:
A deviated septum is commonly present at birth. In some cases, a deviated septum may develop over time. It can also be the result of an injury or trauma that causes the nasal septum to be moved out of position. The only way to determine if you have a deviated septum is through a physical examination by your doctor. He or she will use a bright light that will help visualize the deviated septum by opening the nostril.
Septoplasty is a relatively simple surgical treatment that is done on an outpatient basis using general anesthesia. It is typically completed in less than one hour. Through an incision made inside the nostril, the tissue covering the septum is lifted up to allow the surgeon to see the bone and cartilage. The deviated portions are then removed or reshaped, leaving behind enough non-deviated bone and cartilage to maintain the shape of your nose. The incision is then stitched closed. Septoplasty does not involve cutting through the skin, as it’s performed entirely through the nostrils. Therefore, most patients can go home the same day. Following the septoplasty, our team will provide detailed instructions on post-surgical care and follow-up.
Septoplasty for the treatment of sleep apnea may be covered by health insurance if it is medically prescribed specifically for the treatment of sleep apnea. The only way to receive coverage for any sleep apnea treatment is to have a sleep test conducted by a sleep center and board certified doctors like those at NYC SleepWell. That’s why it’s important to schedule an appointment with NYC SleepWell. Based on a medical history and physical exam, we’ll determine if further testing is required. Our financial specialists are always available to help gather your insurance information and contact your insurance provider in order to determine your coverage. Please feel free to call us to schedule your appointment and answer any questions you may have.
Led by Dr. Ruben Cohen, a Board Certified Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, our skilled team of sleep specialists, ENT surgeons, dentists, orthodontists, and anesthesiologists have extensive experience in septoplasties — in addition to other surgical treatments for a wide array of conditions related to sleep apnea. For your added peace-of-mind, our facility is accredited by the American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities (AAAASF), the Gold Standard in Accreditation. Our goal at NYC SleepWell, plain and simple, is to help you sleep well – and be healthy!