Dr. Stephen Schendel
Plastic, Maxillofacial and Sleep Surgery

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Nasal Surgery

Nasal Surgery in Palo Alto, CA

26 Procedures ( View All )


A large number of individuals suffer from sleep apnea, a condition in which a medical related disorder interferes with the ability to fall and stay asleep. Many times, this is related to a nasal obstruction, which accounts for 50% of upper airway resistance. This may occur due to septal deviation, closing of the nasal valve, enlarged turbinates, or polyps in the sinuses. Menlo Park plastic and maxillofacial surgeon uses advanced technology to analyze the nasal passages and devise a custom nasal reconstruction treatment plan to help patients improve their quality of life with breathing improvement. The goal of nasal surgery is to reduce nasal obstruction, reduce the severity of sleep-disordered breathing, or to facilitate sleep apnea treatment.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Nasal obstruction can greatly affect a person’s quality of life. When patients suffer from nasal obstruction, they struggle to breathe, which can result in countless symptoms, including:

  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Reduced or no sense of smell
  • Reduced or no sense of taste
  • Lack of energy
  • Snoring
  • Reduced libido
  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Mouth breathing
  • Dentofacial abnormalities (abnormal jaw growth)
  • Bags under eyes or puffy eyes

Using a state-of-the-art, non-invasive airway scan, we can accurately measure your nasal airway passages in 3-dimensions as a first step in providing effective treatment for nasal obstruction and snoring. Dr. Schendel will also analyze the physical airway and soft tissue, which can compound nasal airway obstruction. 

Nasal Obstruction Treatments

Nasal obstruction, in most cases, requires surgery. While some patients are completely cured after nasal airway reconstruction, isolated correction of the nasal passages does not always improve obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), especially in patients who have a narrow, constricted, airway. A combination of techniques may be considered. Several are listed below:


Septoplasty is a nose surgery that corrects a deviated septum. The septum is the thick band of fibrous tissue and bone that separates the two nasal passages, as well as supports the nose and its airflow. Septoplasty targets a deviated septum and allows equal airflow through both nostrils. It straightens the nasal septum resulting in a significant improvement of these symptoms, as well as an outcome that offers a natural appearing nose. This outpatient procedure is performed in our on-site AAAHC accredited surgical suite and is followed by a limited recovery period.


Turbinates are bones located on the inside of the nose. This procedure partially or completely removes enlarged turbinates that have swelled in size and block the nasal passage. This outpatient procedure is performed in our AAAHC accredited surgical suite and is followed by a limited recovery period. 

Radiofrequency Reduction

Temperature controlled radiofrequency is one of the newer nonsurgical approaches that surgeons are using to reduce the size of turbinates, the bones located inside the nose. This procedure uses a small electrode to heat and shrink turbinate tissue. It is a safe and effective procedure, delivering precise delivery of energy to the treated areas while preserving the normal function of the turbinates. Performed in our office with local anesthetic, this procedure takes under 10 minutes. Patients see improvement 10-14 days following treatment.

During/After the Procedure

Nasal surgery such as septoplasty and turbinectomy will require a longer recovery than the radiofrequency approach. On average, patients will experience good results (in terms of breathing relief) immediately after the procedure. Swelling and bruising may occur around the nose and eyes. Radiofrequency is less invasive and patients will not require as long of a recovery, however, it does take a couple of weeks until patients see maximum improvement using this approach.

Expected Cost

Nasal surgery for sleep apnea has varied costs and can average between $2,000 and $10,000. On average, a patient can expect to pay around $4,000 for septoplasty surgery, and $2,000 for a turbinectomy. 

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Plan Your Procedure

Average Cost  
$2,000 - $10,000
Recovery Time  
2 Weeks
Average Procedure Time  
1-3 Hours
Post-op Follow-up  
2 Weeks
Procedure Recovery Location  
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Nasal Surgery FAQs

Physical Appearance?

During nasal surgery, the goal is to minimize any changes to the physical appearances of the nose and provide breathing relief to the patient. However, in the case of a deviated septum and enlarged turbinates, some physical changes may occur after surgery. Using 3D imaging, our office can help assess exactly how the nose will appear after surgery. It is important to address any concerns and/or fears with Dr. Schendel during the consultation.

Best Surgeon?

In the case of nasal surgery specifically to improve obstructed breathing and sleep apnea, patients should do their research and find a qualified nose surgeon who understands how the nose relates to, and affects sleep patterns. Many plastic surgeons and ENT doctors are trained in this area. A maxillofacial and craniofacial trained surgeon, such as Dr. Schendel, will have the distinct expertise and experience to produce a successful outcome.

Typical Results?

Nasal obstruction surgery results in improved breathing, a decrease in sinus infections, and a more restful night of sleep. Patients with severe sleep apnea should consult with an expert so that they can be treated accordingly and thus greatly improve their quality of life.  

Related Procedures

*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.