Septoplasty (Deviated Septum)

Septoplasty is a procedure done to correct a deviated or dislocated septum. The septum is the part of the nose that separates the nostrils. This condition can be congenital or caused by injury or trauma to the face, most especially the nose. When the septum is deformed, not only does it affect the appearance of the nose, it can also interfere with the airflow coming in and out of the nose. Patients with mild cases of a deviated septum do not feel any symptoms that tell them that there’s any deviation in their septum; however, those who are afflicted with a severe septal deviation may often have problems with their breathing. This procedure is usually done alongside cosmetic or reconstructive rhinoplasty, but it can also be done as a standalone procedure if the patient does not want to drastically change the appearance of his or her nose.

How the Procedure is Done

Patients who undergo septoplasty are placed under general anesthesia. In some cases, the surgeon may opt to administer local anesthesia combined with intravenous sedation. The surgeon will discuss which type of anesthetic is best for the patient during the consultation session. When the patient is asleep or sedated, the surgeon then proceeds to make an incision in the lining of the septum. Working through the nostrils, the surgeon then excises or realigns a portion of the cartilage or bone in the nasal cavity. The surgeon leaves enough of the cartilage behind for support. Once the septum is properly aligned, splints, plastic tubes or internal sutures may be used to keep the septum in place.

What to Expect After Surgery

This type of surgery is most commonly done as an out-patient procedure and the patients are normally discharged after they have recovered from the anesthesia. Before the patient is discharged, the dressings inside the nose are removed and the surgeon gives specific post-operation instructions in order to keep the septum stable while healing and to prevent infection from occurring. For the first 24-48 hours, the patient’s head needs to be elevated, even if he or she is resting. Expect to have to breathe through the mouth while the packing that keeps the septum stable is still in place. A little bit of bleeding is normal after this particular procedure; however, if the patient experiences heavy nose bleeds, he or she needs to seek emergency medical care. There may be a little bit of pain after the surgery, and the surgeon may prescribe pain medications to manage it. Ice packs can be used to relieve pain and swelling during the healing period.

Correcting a deviated septum not only enhances a patient’s look, it also helps him or her to breathe better. This procedure may or may not be done in conjunction with rhinoplasty, but patients should be careful in choosing a surgeon to perform this surgery. To get more information on septoplasty and the risks that come with it, contact us and schedule a consultation session with one of our reputable and highly qualified surgeons.

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