man with a deviated septum

Could a Deviated Septum Be Causing Weight Gain?

Is it possible to lose weight as a side benefit of having a septoplasty?

Weight loss is a billion-dollar industry here in the U.S. Millions of Americans seemed to be locked into a never-ending struggle with issues related to body weight. Visit a Barnes and Noble book store and you will find multiple sections devoted to books and magazines offering supposedly new and better ways to finally reach your target weight. Grocery and specialty stores have shelves and even entire aisles filled with products promising to be the one that will work for you. And then, of course, there are the ever-present infomercials and ads that seem to mysteriously follow you wherever you go. 

Entire industries appear to revolve around what we should or should not put into our mouths. What if the answer, at least for some of us, has more of a connection to our nose? 

You may be thinking that this has something to do with the aroma of one type of food or another, making it more or less appealing, but it’s actually something else entirely. Researchers have documented that sleep deprivation can interfere with metabolism, causing it to slow down and affecting the body’s ability to efficiently burn calories. Studies have found a direct correlation between loss of sleep and an increase in BMI (body mass index). The less sleep an individual gets, the more likely there is to be weight gain.  

What does this have to do with the nose? Sleep quality can be negatively affected by structural problems in the nasal passages. Someone with a deviated septum, which is an issue with the nasal septum that separates the two nostrils, or some other sort of structural blockage often experiences sinus infections and other types of breathing issues. These typically affect the amount and quality of sleep, even if the individual is not aware that this is happening. 

Correcting a Deviated Septum

The nasal septum separates the nostrils and is composed of bone and cartilage. A deviated septum can be the result of a blow or some sort of accident to the nose or it may have been present from birth. The result, either way, is a structural blockage preventing the free flow of air through the nasal passages. This can cause a variety of symptoms for the patient, including sinus infections, headaches, nosebleeds, snoring, as well as sleep apnea. 

The procedure that is used to correct a deviated septum is septoplasty. The rhinoplasty surgeon will trim, reposition, and replace cartilage and bone in order to straighten the nasal septum and properly align it. The surgery is usually done on an outpatient basis, and the patient can go home that day.

One healing has taken place following the septoplasty, the patient should immediately notice an improvement in the ability to breathe and a decrease in sinus infections. Sleep quality should improve and this may even bring with it the ability to lose those pesky pounds that refused to go away! 

Dr. Brian D. Cohen is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with extensive training in cosmetic/reconstructive plastic surgery and has had years of experience performing a wide array of cosmetic surgery procedures, specializing in procedures of the face, eyes, nose, breast, and body and is known for his exemplary and compassionate care by his patients. Knowing that Dr. Cohen has been selected by his peers in Super Doctors for 8 years in a row in 2020 gives you the confidence that he is highly respected for his performance in his specialty. Information on locations and office hours for Cohen Plastic Surgery can be found by clicking here.