A Southern California ear-nose-throat (ENT) surgeon treats sleep apnea by employing a surgery that’s designed to correct a deviated septum. Newport Beach-based Dr Kevin Sadati finds that septoplasty surgery, which happens to reduce the size of the nasal turbinate, can improve symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and may eliminate the need for continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) in some patients.

An enlarged nasal turbinate can contribute to OSA and a deviated septum can make the situation worse for the patient, Sadati says. The nasal surgery reduces the size of the enlarged nasal turbinate, which allows for improved air flow through the nasal structure. Ultimately, the patient will be able to breathe better throughout the night and can enter deep sleep after the procedure is complete, Sadati says.

Some patients may find that they still require the use of a breathing machine after the surgery, but a traditional CPAP machine can’t be used right away (it would put too much pressure on the healing nasal structure). Full face masks or oral breathing machines can be used as a supplement. “Ultimately, most patients find that the septoplasty combined with turbinate surgery will allow them to breathe better and sleep longer through the night. I love when my patients come back to me, finally feeling rested after years of long, sleepless nights,” Sadati says.