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The Doctors Lounge - Primary Care Answers

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Forum Name: Ear Nose and Throat

Question: Surgery for a deviated septum...


ravenous wolf - Fri Apr 20, 2007 3:43 am

I am going to have surgery for a deviated septum and I will also have my tonsils removed.

My insurance wouldn't cover trimming the palette so I am not getting it but I wanted to know how the septoplasty would impact my sleap apnea.

I have always been a mouth breather and my nose has been clogged up since forever. Will this turn me into a nose breather and will it greatly improve air flow that will help me sleep better?

One other thing. I haven't had surgery since 20 years ago when I was in high school. I know that this is such an ordinary outpatient surgery but how do I explain to the medical staff that I am such a big chicken especially me being a grown man.
Dr. Chan Lowe - Sat Apr 28, 2007 2:15 am

The answer to your first question is dependent upon the degree of blockage you have in your nasal passages due to the deviated septum. Repairing the septum will likely open the nasal passages up and make it easier to keep the pasage ways clear of congestion.

If this was the main reason for your mouth breathing and the surgery opens the nasal passages enough it will very likely help your breathing at night. There is also a possibility that it may not be enough to help but I suspect you'll be pleased with the results.

Regarding your second question, the surgical team is quite familiar with people being anxious about surgery. If your Anxiety is severe you may want to discuss this with your anesthesiologist. You may be able to take a mild anxiolytic before the surgery to help.

Best wishes.
ravenous wolf - Fri May 04, 2007 10:56 pm

The surgical team was great! They understood that I was anxious and nervous and they were very professional about it. And the ENT also did a great job in calming me down. In fact, I barely remember anything about it.

As for the septoplasty, I haven't gotten the improved results yet. In fact, I felt more congested than ever. I got Claritin D and it helped clear up the congestion a bit. In fact, that night I finally blew my nose and like a thick ten inch blood snot came out of my nose.

I have been spitting so much blood snot since the surgery that it has made it difficult for me to sleep.

But now I am starting to feel that there is a tremendous more air flow through my nose.

So here is another question. How do I become a nose breather instead of a mouth breather. I have lived 38 years as a mouth breather so even with the the septoplasty, is becoming a nose breather something that I have to learn?
Dr. Chan Lowe - Sat May 05, 2007 5:30 am

I suspect your body will retrain itself to breath through your nose on its own, although it may be a little while.

Best wishes.

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