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Surgery Methods for Reducing Sleep Apnea from Nasal Obstructions

Aug 17, 2007
Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is a very serious problem that can severely impede your wellbeing. OSAS can be defined as a breathing disorder in which the sufferer actually stops breathing completely for 10 seconds or more (termed an apnea) for up to five times per hour spent asleep. To ensure that the body gets the oxygen it requires the person asleep is awakened enough to enable the re-commencement of his/ her breathing, after which sleep resumes. Being deprived of deep sleep life-long cardiovascular stress coupled with daily exhaustion has a large negative effect on the sufferers health.

OSAS can be due to an obstruction of a persons airways. When asleep peoples muscles relax, some to the point where, due to a particular set of physical characteristics, an airway is sufficiently reduced in size to allow habitual blocking. One of the commonest causes can be a deviated septum.

The septum is the wall of flesh and bone that separates each nostrils chamber. Whether due to an accident or genetic defect/ similar this part of the body can be altered with modern surgical techniques, if other techniques fail (e.g. nasal strips), to alleviate the nostril blockages. Narrowings of the nasal cavity potentially threaten the draining of the mucus from the sinuses. Infections can result from drastic build-up of waste matter in the nasal cavity, further restricting airflow. Allergic rhinitis, e.g. hay fever, can also obstruct the nasal air passages through tissue swellings.

Electrosurgical probes or lasers can be used by trained surgeons to literally burn enlarged areas of obstructing skin within the nose away, typically an office procedure. This surgery is usually directed at the surface tissue or underlying tissue (sub-mucosa). Recovery of the nose tissue when the surface was operated on tends to take 3 or more weeks. If sub-mucosal surgery was adopted the recovery is generally shorter, at around 10 days maximum.

The cartilage or bone in the nose can be broken and left to set in its new and usually more natural position. If the source of the obstruction was the thickening of nose tissue the moved tissue/ bone often returns to its original position unfortunately.

Surgical scissors or the use of a laser can remove just the flesh around the septum (turbinate excision), or the bone as well (turbinate resection). After this type of surgery a gauze soaked with antibiotics is placed in the nostrils about the surgery area for several days to prevent infection.

Of the potential complications that can occur with surgery such as this, over bleeding may result if the nose is not packed with enough sterile absorptive material. This is generally a potential problem with turbinate resections. Resections of the turbinate can also possibly end with the tissues being irreversibly dried out through too many of the blood supplying vessels having been damaged. General healing of the nose, often involving the accumulation of dried blood blocking the airways, can take longer than expected e.g. 4-6 weeks.
About the Author
If you've got sleep apnea symptoms why not visit http://www.sleepapneafacts.info/Symptoms-Of-Sleep-Apnea.php for some helpful related information.
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