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Can Functional Rhinoplasty Improve My Sleep Apnea?

Sleep Apnea Rhinoplasty

It’s hard to have a great day without a good night’s rest. Those suffering through sleep apnea are all too familiar with daytime fatigue, lack of concentration, and irritability. They can affect your work, your relationships, and overall happiness.

The most common treatment for sleep apnea is using a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway) device, but they aren’t the best option for everyone. Other treatments like nerve stimulation and dental appliances are sometimes used. The only treatment that doesn’t require a device, however, is functional rhinoplasty.

How Functional Rhinoplasty can Benefit Sleep Apnea

If your partner frequently complains about your snoring, that can be an indicator of having obstructive sleep apnea. For those whose sleep apnea is caused by an obstruction or blockage, functional rhinoplasty can be a solution.

Functional rhinoplasty can allow a surgeon to clear the nasal passage relieving congestion and reducing the effects of sleep apnea. Getting the surgery while showing signs like mouth breathing (at night), sinus infections, and sinus pressure headaches can help prevent these symptoms from developing into sleep apnea.

How Effective Is It?

For the right patient, sleep apnea rhinoplasty can be highly effective. Or course, it’s always important to consult with a plastic surgeon to ensure you are an appropriate candidate. Although rhinoplasty does not get rid of sleep apnea altogether, it can make it much easier to live with.

Functional rhinoplasty can significantly reduce the severity of obstructive sleep apnea. In some instances, it can be even more effective than CPAP masks. One study suggests that surgical intervention improved the mean Epworth Sleepiness Scale from 11.5 (mild sleepiness) to 7.5 (normal sleepiness).

Epworth Sleepiness Scale

The Epworth Sleepiness Scale is a self-evaluation to assess daytime sleepiness, used to help diagnose sleep disorders. It adds points for every instance of sleepiness, with a higher score meaning more severe sleepiness.  The normal range for adults is 0-10.

Am I a Good Candidate for Sleep Apnea Rhinoplasty?

As effective as rhinoplasty for sleep apnea can be, not everyone is a good candidate. Just like any other surgery, you must consult with a professional before committing to the procedure. Your plastic surgeon will not only assess your candidacy, and guide you through what to expect throughout the process.

Of course, there are some basics that can help you determine whether sleep apnea rhinoplasty may be right for you. These are no substitute for medical advice but can give you a feel for if it may be appropriate for you.

Cause of Sleep Apnea

There are two main types of sleep apnea; obstructive and central. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common, occurring where the upper airway is partially or completely blocked. Central sleep apnea is the result of issues with the respiratory drive.

Of these two, functional rhinoplasty is generally only appropriate for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). In particular, it is used where the disrupted sleep is the result of nasal blockage. For instance, a good candidate for OSA rhinoplasty may exhibit chronic nasal congestion and/or narrowed airways.

Health of Patient

The best candidates for sleep apnea surgery are those in good health. It is most effective where the Body Mass Index (BMI) is under 30. You can use this table for a rough estimate of your BMI.

Body Mass Index

Good general health goes beyond creating a good candidate for sleep apnea rhinoplasty. Healthy lifestyle, exercise, and diet can also help reduce the severity of the disorder. Combining healthy choices with functional rhinoplasty can result in major improvements.

Get Rhinoplasty for OSA in Toronto

If you’re trusting your sleep to anyone, your best bet is a highly-qualified doctor with a strong track record. Dr. Rival is an Otolaryngologist who specializes in Facial Plastic Surgery, with an emphasis on rhinoplasty. He is a fellow of the American and Canadian Academies of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery.

To request a rhinoplasty for OSA consultation at one of Dr. Rival’s three Toronto-area offices, reach out to us today.

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