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Plastic Surgery Clears Nasal Airways

'Functional rhinoplasty' relieves septal deviation, other woes

MONDAY, Sept. 18, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- Plastic surgery may boost airway function in people with severe nasal obstructions, a new study finds.

Nasal obstructions include septal deviation, where the wall separating the nasal passages is off-center; valve insufficiency, which is caused by problems with cartilage; and turbinate hypertrophy, where air flow is blocked by swollen areas inside the nose.

However, there's a form of nasal plastic surgery, called "functional rhinoplasty," that treats problems such as nasal obstruction.

The new study, appearing in the September/October issue of the Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, evaluated 41 people with severe nasal obstructions who underwent functional rhinoplasty at the University of Washington School of Medicine's Cosmetic Surgery Center.

The patients completed questionnaires about the severity of their nasal obstructions before and after having surgery. Based on their answers, the patients were given a severity score of zero to 100, with higher scores indicating more severe nasal obstructions.

The researchers found that the severity scores decreased significantly after surgery -- from 58.4 to just 15.7 after an average of 227 days.

More information

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons has more about plastic surgery.

SOURCE: JAMA/Archives, news release, Sept. 18, 2006
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