Nasal Airway Surgery
Breathe easily again
When chronic allergies or structural problems inside the nose cause breathing to become difficult, your quality of life is impacted. Sleep apnoea, chronic headaches and recurring infections are just a few problems which can occur on top of the basic breathing challenges. Issues within the nasal passage may also force you to breathe through your mouth, leading to a ‘dry mouth’ sensation which can cause discomfort and restless sleep, and can also affect the health of your teeth.
Nasal airway surgery eliminates abnormal structures in the nasal passage and repairs structural issues in the process. The nasal cavity leads from the nose to the top of the throat, and is made up of a selection of soft and hard tissue, bones and cartilage. By clearing obstructions and correcting other issues present in the nasal cavity, nasal airway surgery can restore proper nasal function.
Dr Gerarchi has a special interest in rhinoplasty and nasal plastic surgery, with extensive experience correcting nasal obstructions.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” Lao Tzu
The results you deserve
If you are experiencing difficulty breathing through your nose, have visual signs of an obstruction or feel that something is obstructing your nasal passage, Dr Paul Gerarchi can help. There are many different types of nasal airway surgery, which allows for a tailored procedure. Your options regarding functional nose surgery might include:
Corrects a deviated septum, or obstructing septum deformity which results in breathing problems.
Reduces the size of your nasal turbinates when they have become large enough to obstruct air flow.
The removal of part of the ethmoid bone at the top of the nasal cavity.
Removal of nasal polyps, non-cancerous growths which can restrict or block airflow.
Eradication of benign or malignant tumours inside the nasal cavities.
Meeting your surgeon
During your initial consultation, Dr Gerarchi will perform a thorough assessment of your nasal passages and structure. Through a detailed assessment, he can identify what needs to be achieved and formulate a plan to accomplish your goals. If you have any medical information, such as x-rays, pertaining to your nasal issue, please bring them along. Our goal will be to pinpoint the specific cause of your symptoms and recommend the best surgical technique to address it. Realistic expectations will be set and understood, and all of your questions answered, leaving you feeling confident about your upcoming procedure.
Your journey to breathing easier
These two procedures are the most common types of functional nose surgery Dr Gerarchi performs. The details of your surgery will depend on the specific procedure you undergo:
Septoplasty is the process recommended for those who are diagnosed with a deviated septum. Dr Gerarchi will align the bone and cartilage which is causing the septum to deviate, by removing the lining from the cartilage and bone, reshaping it into the desired position and then putting it back into place. You will likely undergo this procedure using general anaesthesia and return home the same day as your surgery.
Turbinate reduction will be performed if you have enlarged turbinates inside the nasal cavity in need of removal. Turbinates are structures on the inside walls of the nasal cavity which warm and moisten the air which passes through. However, when they become enlarged, this can cause an obstruction which affects your ability to breathe.
During turbinate reduction, Dr Gerarchi decreases the size of the turbinates without removing them completely. Depending on your individual situation and what needs to be achieved, Dr Gerarchi may surgically and endoscopical reduce the size of your turbinates, or shrink them with the use of controlled heat. This procedure can be performed, and is most often performed, at the same time as septoplasty.
Turbinate reduction is a day surgery, meaning you will be able to return home the same day as your procedure. It is typically done using general anaethesia, so you will need help from friends and family for at least 24 hours following the surgery to ensure you have the support necessary to begin your recovery process safely.
Tenderness, tiredness and a ‘blocked’ feeling in the nose are all potential side effects of your functional nose surgery. These will likely only last a few days. You may also notice a moderate amount of nasal drainage, which is normal after nasal procedures. The ‘blocked’ sensation is due to swelling in the area and will subside over time.
Though most swelling will diminish after the first week or two, the final result will be evident after two months. Sleeping in an elevated position and the use of ice packs will help with swelling and tenderness during the initial recovery period. Contact sports, vigorous activity and exercise should be avoided during the recovery period also.
It is common to return home a few hours after your nasal airway surgery. In some cases, packing and splints may be placed inside the nose to aid in the successful healing process.
Absorbable sutures will gradually dissolve inside your nose, which will be monitored by Dr Gerarchi during your post-procedure follow-up appointments.
Please do not touch the surgical area until Dr Gerarchi removes all packing and splints and advises you it is safe to do so.
Managing your pain and recovery
Dr Gerarchi will prescribe all necessary medication to ensure your recovery process is as smooth and comfortable as possible. The use of oral pain-relief medication alongside saline spray will help to ensure a healthy and comfortable recovery process, and diminish the possibility of infection.
We recommend you contact a member of our staff before taking any unprescribed medication, as some anti-inflammatory medication can cause the blood to thin and inhibit successful healing.
Your post-surgical journey
Follow-up appointments intervals during your recovery period will be scheduled prior to your procedure. During the initial follow-up appointment, all aspects of healing are assessed, post-surgery questions answered and the surgical procedure discussed in detail. Any non-dissolvable sutures will be removed, packing redone, splints removed your recovery discussed in detail.
We encourage good communication during your recovery period. Therefore, if you notice anything out of the ordinary we urge you to call our office as soon as possible.