Despite the fact that plastic surgery is regarded by some as solely a cosmetic undertaking, doctors in the field actually do a great deal of reconstructive work. For facial surgeons and Otolaryngologists, this includes addressing nasal deviation, a problem that causes airway obstruction in the nose. With a technique similar to rhinoplasty, a doctor can correct the deviation (straighten the airway and nose) to resolve breathing problems.
According to a new study, nasal deviation was linked to depression and lower quality of life. Plastic Surgeons at the Universidade Federal de São Paulo selected 32 people with nasal deviation and 28 with normal-functioning nasal anatomy.
By photographing and mapping the nasal structure, they could positively determine whether a patient exhibited nasal deviation. A survey was then used to measure factors such as their self-esteem and mental health.
The doctors found some interesting correlations between nasal deviation and quality of life. They write:
“Nasal deviation was found to be a risk factor for depression, and had a negative impact on quality of life. Patients with nasal deviation reported higher depression scores [compared to the control group].”
Given this assessment, surgical correction of these problems may be quite beneficial. But how is nasal deviation corrected? Facial surgeons perform a variety of procedures to improve nasal breathing problems. Septoplasty is one common procedure, which balances the nasal airways through surgical reshaping of the nasal cartilage and bone. Less common corrective techniques include turbinectomy or cartilage grafting.
The study referenced above can be accessed through Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery journal e-published ahead-of-print feature.