Nasal Airway Obstruction


The obstruction of the nasal airway can have a detrimental impact on the patient’s overall health by impairing the body’s ability to filter pollutants from the atmosphere and triggering breathing or sleep disturbances (i.e. snoring). Nasal airway obstruction is a common condition with a number of causes, including:

  • Deviated Septum: a normal nasal septum runs through the center of the nose, dividing it to create the left and right nostrils. A deviated septum describes a septum that leans significantly either to the right or the left, resulting in an obstruction to the nasal airway that can create breathing difficulties for the patient.
  • Turbinate Hypertrophy: enlargement of the turbinates (sponge-like tissue responsible for properly conditioning the air prior to introduction to the respiratory tract) can lead to an obstruction of the nasal cavity
  • Nasal Polyps: non-cancerous growths that may appear on the nasal lining, plugging the nose, and making breathing more difficult. Polyps are often found in patients suffering from allergic rhinitis or asthma.
  • Inflammation and Swelling of the Nasal Lining: allergies and sinus problems can cause the nasal lining to swell, and may trigger sneezing or recurrent sinus infections, all of which can lead to poor airflow and blockage in the nasal cavity
  • Nasal Tissue Enlargement: healthy adenoid tissue (found in the back of the nasal cavity) typically shrinks during the late teen years; however, if this tissue does not shrink, chronic sinus infections may ensue, leading to obstruction of the nasal airway


Depending on the cause of the nasal airway obstruction, some patients may benefit from non-invasive treatment measures (i.e. anti-inflammatory nasal sprays), while others will require a more intensive surgical approach. At The Virginia Institute for Surgical Arts, located in Chantilly, Virginia, Dr. Trang Vo-Nguyen (Dr. V) is pleased to offer a number of surgical treatment options aimed at resolving the anatomical or structural abnormalities responsible for the obstruction of the nasal airway:

  • Septoplasty: nasal airway surgery designed to correct a deviated nasal septum by straightening the crooked septum cartilage and bone.
  • Turbinate Reduction Surgery:  this surgical procedure reduces the size and thickness of the nasal turbinates and their surrounding mucous membranes in order to eliminate any obstruction in the nasal passages. There are three general turbinate reduction techniques: turbinectomy, submucous resection, and radiofrequency reduction.
  • Temperature-controlled Radiofrequency Treatment:  this minimally invasive, non-surgical method focuses on reducing the size of the turbinates by using radiofrequency to heat and shrink the turbinate tissue, thereby expanding the nasal airways.
  • External Valve Reconstruction: this technique is ideally suited for patients who have had a previous rhinoplasty surgery, and involves the reinforcement and reshaping of the nasal cartilage to maintain proper nostril opening and expand the nasal airways
  • Maxillary Recontouring: performed when the boney anatomy of the nasal aperture is too narrow, and is impairing the patient’s ability to breathe
  • Revisional Rhinoplasty: one of the potential complications of a rhinoplasty procedure (nasal reshaping surgery) is the obstruction of the nasal airways. Revisional rhinoplasty is a secondary rhinoplasty procedure that can be performed to address any complications that have ensued after the original surgery.


In order to ensure that you receive optimally effective treatment for your obstructed nasal airway, it is important that you select a physician with in-depth knowledge of facial anatomy and the delicate nasal structures, such as Dr. Trang Thuy Vo-Nguyen (Dr. V). Dr. V has the background, experience, and clinical skill-set to create customized treatment plans that are designed to safely and effectively correct your nasal airway obstruction.

Dr. V is double board certified in the field of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and through her extensive training, experience, and achievements, she has built a reputation as one of the leading facial plastic surgeons in the nation.  If you are interested in learning more about the various treatment options to resolve your nasal airway obstruction, please contact The Virginia Institute for Surgical Arts today. We look forward to speaking with you, and to scheduling your initial consultation with Dr. V.

Please call 703-327-8200 or Click Here to Schedule a Consultation.


Contact Us Virginia Institute for Surgical Arts

South Riding Professional Square
25055 Riding Plaza, Suite #140
Chantilly, VA 20152
TEL: 703.327.8200