top of page
Image by Eli DeFaria

Nasal Congestion


Many people have difficulty with nasal congestion and stuffiness. Patients often have to breathe through their mouth and it can be worse at night when they are lying flat. This can also lead to snoring and poor sleep.

Different types of problems can cause nasal congestion. For example, allergies can cause stuffiness. Another very common cause of nasal congestion is a narrow nasal airway, often a problem with the nasal septum and turbinates.


The nasal septum is the wall that divides your nose into the right and left sides. If the septum is bent or crooked, it is called a deviated nasal septum. The septum is made of cartilage and bone. When the septum is deviated, one or both sides of the nose can become blocked. In these instances, surgery can help correct the deviation and improve breathing.


The turbinates are also inside the nose, near the septum. There is usually space between the septum and turbinates to allow air to pass through the nose. The turbinates can cause stuffiness if they are too big.


If you have a “stuff nose” from a deviated septum or enlarged turbinates, surgery can be very helpful. You will be able to breathe through your nose better, feel less congested, not have “dry mouth” and have more restful sleep.

Surgery to correct a deviated septum is called a septoplasty. This is often performed with surgery to shrink the size of the turbinates, called a turbinate reduction. During a septoplasty, your surgeon will straighten the cartilage and bone inside your nose. No cuts are made on the outside. Sometimes it is reshaped and portions may be partially removed. Splints may be used if necessary and removed in 5-7 days. The turbinates are reduced in size by partially removing some of the bone. We take special care to leave enough tissue so that the turbinates can warm and humidify the air flowing through your nose.

At the Sinus Institute of New Jersey this surgery is done in a minimally invasive and maximally effective technique. We use the latest technology with high definition cameras (endoscopy) and intraoperative navigation (computer assisted GPS for surgeons).


Your visit will begin with Dr. Hsueh listening carefully to your history in order to understand your particular concerns. A thorough exam will be performed. This often includes looking deeper into your nose with a small camera (endoscope) that is painless. Sometimes a CT scan or allergy test may be ordered. We encourage you to ask as many questions so that you feel comfortable and understand.


Does a septoplasty change how my nose looks?

No. Septoplasty and turbinate reduction do not change the bony structure of the nose. We do not make any cuts on the outside of your nose or face. If you want to change the look of your nose, you should discuss this with your surgeon.

Can I be awake for my septoplasty and turbinate reduction?

In most cases, septoplasty and turbinate reduction are performed under general anesthesia. Sometimes, the procedure can be performed “awake” under local anesthesia. You should ask your surgeon so that you can make the best decision together.

How painful is the surgery?

Most patients do not experience much pain after the surgery. Usually the pain is easily controlled with low-dose narcotic medications for 1-2 days. Afterwards, patients are usually fine with regular or extra-strength Tylenol. We work closely with all patients to make sure their pain is well controlled.

How long do I need to take off work?

Septoplasty and turbinate reduction is typically an outpatient procedure that takes about 1 hour. Often patients will take a couple days or up to a week off work. We generally advise to avoid heavy lifting for 1-2 weeks.

Nasal Congestion: Our Services
bottom of page