Can rhinoplasty help with snoring?


Hi, I'm Dr. Garcia from Contoura Facial Plastic Surgery. And I wanted to talk today a little bit about the effects of how rhinoplasty might improve snoring at nighttime. And it's a question that I get asked very, very frequently, usually by the spouses who are concerned with what effects we might see with snoring after a rhinoplasty is performed. First, let me explain a couple things about what snoring is. From an anatomical standpoint, snoring occurs because there's vibration within either the nasal cavity or the oral or pharyngeal cavities. And so when air passes through these particular structures, as they vibrate, they make noise. There's a distinction, however, between snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. And so obstructive sleep apnea or OSA, is actually the process whereby you end up stopping breathing due to one of those obstructions. And so snoring doesn't always necessarily equate to obstructive sleep apnea.

And so obstructive sleep apnea has, of course, its deleterious longterm effects of causing high blood pressure and causing issues with pulmonary hypertension and ultimately can cause some more serious life threatening issues. And so if we see a patient who has significant obstructive sleep apnea, we will refer them to an otolaryngologist who performs sleep apnea surgery. Now getting back to the actual snoring process that's occurring as a result of nasal deformity, almost always it's due to the septum, which is that central partition that divides the nose into the right and the left side and that septum is deviated one way or the other, so when air passes through that narrowed cavity, it forms a turbulence of air and that causes a vibratory pattern, causing the sound that makes up snoring. And so probably 99% of the time, even though patients tell me that they feel that they breathe great, I still look into their nose during the surgery and I'll straighten out some kind of indolent non pathological deviation to their septum.

And so the reason being, if you have a deviation today, many times it'll worsen over the course of the years and it'll cause ultimately more significant deviation that might cause snoring. It might even cause some headaches on one side of the face and can cost them significant issue. To answer the question, yes, snoring can be improved. It's definitely helpful in patients who are already currently using what's called a CPAP machine or a nasal CPAP machine because now you're able to get more air through the nose, keeps the oropharynx more open and that avoids the symptoms of obstructive apnea. We do recommend if you do have a history of a deviated septum and you have obstructive sleep apnea, we could significantly decrease what's called your respiratory distress index or RDI, simply by straightening out your septum and allowing more of that air either through a natural means or through a CPAP means to the oropharynx and it does help our patients out significantly.

Get on our website, on the section of nasal surgery and you might find a little bit more information in terms of how that might help. But as always, you're always free to come in and see us in consultation. We definitely will carve out some time for you and explain this in a little bit more detail. I hope this video has helped, and if there's anything you ever need, just give us a call. Thank you. Have a great day.