Septoplasty (SEP-toe-plas-tee) is a surgical procedure to straighten the bone and cartilage dividing the space between your two nostrils. The septum supports the nose and directs airflow. When the septum is crooked, it’s known as a deviated septum. A deviated septum can make it harder to breathe through your nose and can increase the risk of sinus infections due to poor drainage.
Who is a candidate for Septoplasty?
The septum can bend to one side or another as a part of normal growth during childhood and puberty. Also, the septum can be deviated at birth (congenital) or because of an injury, such as a broken nose.
Septoplasty may be an option if the deviated septum blocks the airway, which can cause:
- Blockage of one or both nostrils
- Frequent sinus infections
- Chronic / recurrent runny nose
- Frequent nosebleeds
- Nose appears crooked
- Breathing problems / Sleep apnea
In determining whether you are a candidate for septoplasty, your doctor will examine your nasal passages and discuss your medical history, especially the symptoms you are experiencing as a result of your deviated septum. Typically, septoplasty is not performed unless other methods to treat your breathing problems are unsuccessful.
For patients needing Endoscopic Sinus Surgery to address another issue (e.g., polyps), sometimes Septoplasty is required as a precursor.
How is a Septoplasty performed?
- Procedure is outpatient, in the operating room under general anesthesia, and typically takes less than an hour.
- Small incisions are made inside the nose to provide access to the septal cartilage and bone, and to preserve as much mucosal lining as possible.
- Portions of the septum are trimmed, reshaped, repositioned, or removed to correct deviations, maintain support and give maximal breathing space.
- Light packing may be needed to reposition mucosal lining and hold the septum in place for up to 7 days after surgery. The packing is removed in the office by the physician.
- It is occasionally combined with turbinate reduction (the swollen tissues on the side wall of the nose) if necessary. Patients usually report minimal pain and are able to get back to work within 1 week.
Septoplasty & Turbinate Reduction – Click here