Your nose plays an important role in your respiratory system as it filters, conditions and humidifies the air you breathe and inhale in your lungs.  For some patients, the everyday act of nasal breathing can be a difficult task. Nasal blockage can be inflammatory, or it can be anatomical. Inflammatory examples could include allergies, the common cold, or sinusitis and these are treated medically.  Anatomical blockage occurs when the shape of the structures of the nose are compromising breathing passages.  The most common structures that are repaired using surgery include the septum of the nose, which acts as a wall between the nasal passages, the turbinates, mucus secreting structures that line the passages, and the nasal valve, which is the narrowest area at the entrance of the nose and nostrils.  Unfavorable anatomy of each of these structures can narrow the nasal passageways and can inhibit airflow through the nose, causing breathing to become uncomfortable.

What is Nasal Airway Reconstruction?

Nasal airway reconstruction refers to surgery to repair the unfavorable anatomy of the nasal passageways and allow better breathing. This may include a septoplasty to correct a deviated septum, the wall between the nasal passages that may be crooked, congenitally or due to trauma.  It also may include a turbinoplasty to reduce the size of these nasal tissues when they crowd the nasal passages.  A nasal valve repair will be done when this area of the nose is narrowed or compromised and needs reconstruction to open the passages.  Reconstruction of the nasal airway can provide many benefits including the clearing of the nasal airway passages, improvements in symptoms like nasal discharge and sneezing, and an improvement in reoccurring sinusitis or hay fever.

What Patients Are Saying

Dr. Jeffrey Cutler is terrific. I have had chronic sinusitis for years. Dr. Cutler has mapped out strategies and procedures to mitigate the frequency of my sinusitis episodes. He is personable, relatable, and takes the time to question and completely understand your current situation. He uses diagnostic tools, your history & physical examination to estblish a differential diagnosis and then discusses treatment options with you NOT to you. He is top notch.

Had a great experience with Dr Cote and great results! Would recommend Dr Cote. I would also go back for anything else I may need! -Cheryl B.

I had a severely obstructive scar tissue band removed from my right nasal cavity as well as a turbinate reduction. My surgery with Dr. Rasband was 1 month ago and I am LOVING the outcome! Just a few days after surgery, I was breathing 100% better. Dr. Rasband provided me with some cool pictures of the surgery. Recovery was quite easy, I was actually able to attend a work meeting the next day in office. I saw her a few times since then for post-op appointments. No re-adherence of the scar tissue band, and I am breathing 100% better. It’s amazing to have both sides of my nose open!

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How is Nasal Airway Reconstruction Done?

Nasal airway reconstruction commonly takes about an hour to complete and is done under general anesthetic as an outpatient surgery. During surgery, incisions are made inside the nose to provide access to crooked cartilage or bone that needs to be either removed or repositioned. Swollen turbinates may be reduced by a variety of techniques. Cartilage grafting may be used to repair the nasal valve. Incisions are closed and then the patient awakens for recovery.

Nasal Airway Reconstruction Recovery

Following surgery, packing is rarely used in our practice, although splints may protect the repaired areas.  After recovery from anesthesia, the patient returns home to rest and recover.  Saline spray may be recommended to prevent the nose from developing crusts. Most patients are able to return to their everyday tasks in a few days. Some strenuous activities or travel may need to be postponed for a longer period.  An improvement in breathing is often noticeable at the one week appointment and will improve further for six weeks after the procedure.

Patients who are having difficulty breathing through their nose can often benefit from nasal airway reconstruction. If you are located in the Denver or Lone Tree areas and believe you may be a good candidate, contact AOO/ENT specialists of the Rockies to schedule your consultation with one of our ENT specialists.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Christopher R. Cote, M.D.

With more than 25 years experience,Dr. Christopher Cote is double-board-certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology and the American Board of Facial and Reconstructive Surgery. He received his medical degree from Tufts University and performed a surgical internship and residency at Walter Reed Medical Center and National Naval Medical Center. He received fellowship training at Johns Hopkins University in Facial Plastic And Reconstructive Surgery, his subspecialty area of expertise and focus, including rhinoplasty and nasal airway surgery . He also enjoys hiking, skiing, and traveling with his family.

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