Sleep Apnea and Snoring in Syracuse, Rochester, and Ithaca, NY

Double board-certified Facial Plastic Surgeon Dr. Sang W. Kim of the Natural Face™ Clinics provide treatment for sleep apnea and snoring for patients residing in the Syracuse metropolitan area and Central New York area including Ithaca, and Rochester.

What is the connection between nasal obstruction and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

Think about how the air gets into the lungs with each breath. The air goes through a continuous pipe from the nose down to its destination – the lungs.  There are several segments to this air pipe, starting with the nasal valve (entry point of the nasal passage), the nasal passage, the soft palate, and back of the tongue before it enters the lower airway.  Normally, the nasal valve area accounts for more than 50% of upper airway resistance.

In people with an obstructive nasal airway, the effect of obstruction is amplified beyond their problematic nasal airway.  Obviously these people experience trouble moving air at their nasal valve regions.  Beyond that, the increasing effort to breathe through the narrow nasal valve results in increased negative pressure further downstream at the soft palate and back of the tongue, resulting in the collapse of these structures.  This is where the snoring happens as well.

To overcome this challenge, these people will start breathing through their mouths during sleep.  So how much difficult is it to breath through the mouth?  During sleep, it is about 250% more difficult (higher resistance) to breathe through the mouth than through the nose, and further compromising the quality of sleep.


What is the data behind nasal surgery and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

Within the published studies on nasal surgery and OSA, there are some controversies as to the extent the nasal surgeries improve OSA directly.   Nasal surgery to correct the structural nasal airway problem has been shown to help OSA patients who could not previously tolerate the continuous positive airway pressure device.  Many patients who rely on nasal medications (such as a nasal steroid, antihistamine, or other “allergy medicines”) may need less or no further medications after the surgery compared to before the surgery.

Some studies, however, have shown that the nasal surgeries do not always result in improvement of the sleep study score.  This is counter-intuitive and controversial because it seems that if one’s obstructive nasal airway is improved, then one’s OSA score should improve also.  While this is an active area of future research, growing consensus is that inadequate nasal surgery played a part in some of the old studies that fail to show significant improvement in the OSA score following nasal surgery.

Recent studies in which specific anatomic problems were identified and repaired through modern functional septorhinoplasty techniques show that patients experienced improvement both in qualitative measures as well as in quantitative sleep study scores.  These are patients of whom the nasal airway was the primary cause of OSA.


What are the surgical options for nasal obstruction in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

Traditional basic nasal airway procedures consisted of septoplasty and turbinate reduction.  In fact, correction of deviated nasal septum – also called septoplasty – continues to be the most common surgery performed by the otolaryngologists for structural nasal airway obstruction.  The overall success rate or the satisfactory outcome reported by patients with nasal airway obstruction after the surgery ranges from 65-80% among published studies.

More recently, the modern functional rhinoplasty and the concept of repairing the nasal valve became the main focus in nasal airway surgery.  In a select few patients, the functional rhinoplasty procedure has shown to actually improve or even cure OSA.


Why do the traditional basic nasal procedures like septoplasty/turbinate reduction fail to help in some patients?  Would these patients benefit from functional rhinoplasty?

In 51% of the patients who require revision surgery for nasal obstruction, the nasal valve area was the persistent problem.  Below are the specific nasal structures that the traditional septoplasty technique most often fails.

Persistent obstruction of internal nasal valve:

  • Dorsal cartilaginous septum – 65-92%
  • Dorsal bony septum (perpendicular plate of ethmoid) – 79%
  • Narrowed middle vault – 40%

Persistent obstruction of external nasal valve:

  • Caudal septum – 72%
  • Domal cartilage deformity – 38%


Why are these problematic nasal structures often missed by the traditional nasal surgery (septoplasty) performed by the general otolaryngologists?

Foremost, the techniques employed by general otolaryngologists, in which the septoplasty is almost exclusively performed, are through incisions inside the nose (Killian or transfixion incisions).  This greatly limits the visibility of the missed nasal valve structures described above.  This also makes correction or manipulation of these structures technically challenging.  Secondly, these structures described above are parts of the critical supporting mechanisms of the nose.  Due to the concern related to destabilizing the nose, these structures are traditionally not disturbed when the traditional technique is employed.

Facial plastic surgeons with an otolaryngology background approach the nose from a different perspective (with the lessons learned through the cosmetic rhinoplasty surgeons and their patients of the previous generation).

A functional septorhinoplasty may be performed either through intranasal incisions only (endonasal approach), or through a small incision below the nose (open approach), depending on which structures need to be corrected.  This allows access and ability to correct the entire nasal structure that is causing the obstructive problem, and at the same time, re-establishing and restoring the support mechanism of the nose.


Double board-certified Facial Plastic Surgeon Dr. Sang W. Kim at Natural Face Clinics specialize in aesthetic enhancement of the face, head, and neck, exclusively. Patients come to see us from the Syracuse metropolitan area and Central New York area including Ithaca, and Rochester. At Natural Face Clinics, we specialize in restoring the youthful neck contour, tired appearance of the brows and eyes, and skin laxity. We offer customized treatment, both surgical and non-surgical, including facelift, eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), nose surgery (rhinoplasty), brow lift, neck lift, and skin resurfacing. Find out more by scheduling your personal consultation today.



Dr. Sang W. Kim

Harvard Trained, Double Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon

Sang W Kim, MD is a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon who specializes in cosmetic and reconstructive facial plastic surgery, nasal/sinus surgery, and hair restoration surgery.

We invite you to share your experience online at Click on the button below to leave a review!  -

I found everyone at Natural Face Clinics to be very friendly and accommodating. During the procedure I became ill and both Dr. Kim and Susan were very compassionate and I did not feel rushed. As of this date, the results are great and I am happy with the end result. Dr. Kim has been very kind and professional. He is a great doctor. The staff is very kind and caring. They are always friendly and accommodating on the phone and in the office. I would definitely recommend Dr. Kim to my family and friends. Thank you for everything!

- Joanne – East Syracuse, NY


Everything about the procedure was well explained and it was a breeze! The chin surgery came out well and as expected. The doctor was very professional and put me at ease. He explained everything that he was doing. The staff is top notch and Karen was outstanding.

- Carl – East Syracuse, NY


The initial visit was informative and reassuring. I was given options and a clear understanding as to what to expect. It was very comforting. I received excellent care and I am thrilled with my results! I’ve already booked my next procedure. I was pleasantly surprised with how little pain there was and how quickly I recovered.
Dr. Halliday is wonderful! He is knowledgeable and professional. I wouldn’t trust my face to just anyone. He is an excellent plastic surgeon. The staff is professional, caring and attentive. Appointment times are honored and the visits are never rushed. I am so grateful for the outstanding care I received.

- Susan – East Syracuse, NY


My experience was very professional and helpful. My questions were answered that I did not think to ask. They were very friendly and accommodating. The procedure went smoothly. Post-op care was especially spoiling, considering it was during the holidays. Everything was done to ensure I had an optimal outcome.
My results are splendid! I am receiving compliments that I look 15-20 years younger than prior to my procedure. My doctor was outstanding and genuinely concerned. He wanted me to understand what was being done and why. I had clear and concise answers to questions and received excellent bedside manner. The staff is friendly, efficient, on time and on task. They are eager to assist! I would recommend and would use again when needing cosmetic enhancements. I am very, very pleased with my experience and results.

- D.L. – East Syracuse, NY


When I look in the mirror, I know I made a great choice. Dr. Halliday and his exceptional staff were thoughtful, knowledgeable, and caring. My results were very good and not over-done like some actress on TV. I have referred friends and they also had great results.

- Mary - New York Mills, NY


I cannot begin to tell you how happy I was and continue to be with Dr. Halliday and his staff. I felt very comfortable the first time I met him and talked with his staff. I was treated professionally and with dignity. I originally met Dr. Halliday to discuss fillers. After talking to him and discussing all my options, I decided to have a face lift and surgery on my upper and lower eye lids. He never pushed me into making a decision, in fact, he told me to think about it. I left and headed to work and I called the same day and booked my surgery. He is an artist and a master at what he does. I am extremely happy with my results. I have and will continue to recommend Dr. Halliday and his staff to anyone interested in improving their appearance.

- Debbie - Syracuse, NY


This whole process has been an amazing experience. The staff and Dr. Halliday treat you with respect and also assure your privacy. The staff is efficient and communicates well; you have complete knowledge of the process and the outcome is absolutely awesome. Thank you!

- Dale - Ilion, NY


At my initial visit I was met with a short wait time and a friendly staff. Throughout the whole procedure I was comfortable and I healed well and had no problems; I am happy with my results. Dr. Kim is so nice and friendly. He answered all my questions and made me feel safe and comfortable. The office staff has been very friendly and helpful as well. Everyone is so nice here.

- Karen – Syracuse, NY


When I met Dr. Kim and the staff, everyone was friendly. Dr. Kim did a good job with my procedure and made me feel comfortable. My hair has started to grow and I feel like the procedure has worked. Everyone here is nice and I liked Dr. Kim’s honesty with me. My doctor wanted me to go to a different doctor for my nose but I told him “no I want to go to Dr. Kim”.

- Ljupco – Syracuse, NY


At my initial visit Dr. Kim and the staff were very informative on what was going to happen with the surgery. He removed Melanoma from the left side of my nose and it very good. All of the Melanoma has been removed and is healing well. Dr. Kim has been very informative on all that has taken place and what is in the future after surgery. The staff has also been very helpful throughout the whole process. I would see Dr. Kim again if I had any more cancer to be removed.

- Eugene – Syracuse, NY


My initial consultation was very informative. The doctor was honest about the procedure, as well as, the cost and I felt no pressure to make a commitment. The office itself is very comfortable and the staff is friendly and welcoming. My procedure went smooth and the doctor was very cautious to not release me until he was sure I was ready to leave. I am very happy with my results and the healing time was even better than expected. Dr. Kim has an excellent bed side manner and his staff made the whole process enjoyable. He is easy to talk to and very informative about the procedure, as well as, advice on the healing process. I would definitely refer my family and friends to this practice.

- Linda – East Syracuse, NY


Dr. Kim and the entire staff are nice. Dr. Kim did a good job and everything is 100%.

- Nevzad – East Syracuse, NY


My husband and I met with Dr. Halliday and Terri. We arrived to a very clean and inviting office and did not have to wait long. Dr. Halliday and Terri did not tell me what should be done but were interested in what my goals were for a cosmetic procedure. They answered all my questions and explained their recommendations clearly. On the day of my procedure everyone went out of their way to make sure I was as comfortable as possible. I liked the “privacy” of the operating and recovery area. I feel like l look years younger while still looking “age appropriate”. Friends and family have commented I look good and the natural lift is exactly that; very natural. The only way people know I had a procedure is because I told them. Dr. Halliday was very professional and friendly the entire time. I completely trusted all the decisions he made during the procedure. He took his time and even took time to put my husband at ease about having the procedure done. Everyone at the office is extremely friendly and I have never had to wait long for my appointment. I feel like I have made an investment in my face and while I am happy to be my age I am even happier to have a face that matches the body I have. I will continue to make enhancements along the way with Dr. Halliday, Terri, and everyone in his office who made me feel and look special.

- Nicki – East Syracuse, NY


The staff is very pleasant and helpful. I am very pleased with Dr. Hallidays expertise.

- Debra Victor - East Syracuse, NY


This is a wonderful place to come, everyone is great and happy. I had the best care and will recommend this surgery center to my friends.

- Linda - Syracuse, NY


I was very worried about my surgery. However, the doctor and staff were wonderful and my surgery and recovery were well worth it.

- Shirley – Syracuse, NY

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