Repairing Abnormal Structures In The Nasal Cavity

Nasal Airway Procedures

Nasal airway procedures repair abnormal structures in the nasal cavity. Your nasal cavity is a tunnel that extends from your nostrils to the top of your throat and is made up of various bones, soft tissue, and cartilage. Nasal airway procedures help restore airflow and full function of a damaged or diseased nasal cavity. Nasal airway procedures are not considered until less invasive treatment options have been exhausted.

Types Of Nasal Airway Procedures


Removes part of the ethmoid bone at the top of your nasal cavity to improve nasal drainage into your throat. An ethmoidectomy is indicated if the condition does not respond to adequate medical therapy, is progressive, or has led to various complications such as the formation of abscesses. This procedure can be performed under general anesthesia through an incision between the eye and the nose. Another method for this procedure is an endoscopic approach with a combination of topical and local anesthesia to numb the nasal cavity.


Removes noncancerous swellings in the nose, polyps that can block airflow in the nasal cavity. Nasal polyps form as a result of prolonged irritation and inflammation of the mucous membranes that line the sinuses. During this procedure, the polyps and any other problematic tissue are removed using special instruments passed through your nostrils to perform the corrections, so no incisions will need to be made to your face.


Known more commonly as the procedure to correct a deviated nasal septum or other septal deformities that can obstruct airflow through the nose and cause difficulty breathing. Septoplasty is the surgical correction of defects and deformities of the nasal septum (the partition between the nostrils). A septoplasty is done under either local or general anesthesia. In a typical procedure, the surgeon makes an incision on one side of your nose to access the septum, and the deviated septum is moved into the right position. Any barriers, such as extra pieces of bone or cartilage, are removed. The last step is the repositioning of the mucous membrane.

Turbinate Surgery

Reduces the size of your nasal turbinates, the outer sidewalls of the nasal cavity that project out into the nasal cavity and are responsible for conditioning and filtering the air that moves through your nasal cavity. When too large, they can cause obstruction and difficulty breathing through the nose. Radiofrequency turbinate reduction is a procedure performed under local anesthesia that takes about 10 minutes. A needle-like instrument is inserted into the turbinate, causing controlled damage and the turbinates to be reduced. Usually, there’s no pain during the recovery process and no long-term side effects.

Why Is Nasal Airway Surgery Performed? 

Nasal airway surgery is performed to treat a damaged or diseased nasal cavity because these deformities can block the flow of air through your nose. Nasal airway obstruction often leads to chronic mouth breathing, sleep apnea, chronic headaches and recurrent nasal infections.

Your doctor will only consider nasal airway surgery for you if other treatment options with less risk of complications have been ineffective.

Doctors may recommend nasal airway surgery for:

  • Enlarged nasal turbinates that extend too far and block efficient airflow
  • Nasal airway obstruction from polyps or an abnormal ethmoid bone
  • Nasal polyps or tumors that block efficient airflow
  • Deviated septum or other deformity making it difficult to breathe through your nose
  • Septal spur headaches caused by a sharp projection of the septum from a nose injury
  • Uncontrollable nosebleeds, often from septal deformities





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