Deviated Nasal Septum Repair
Septoplasty is a surgical procedure used to correct defects or deformities of the Nasal Septum…often by alteration or partial removal of obstructing structures.
Statistics estimate that over 80% of all nasal septums are off-center, but this often goes unnoticed. If the septum is severely deviated away from the midline where it should be, this condition can cause problems such as breathing difficulties, nasal congestion, and perceived sinus infections. Septoplasty is a very common surgery that corrects a deviated septum and improves nasal airflow.
WHAT IS THE NASAL SEPTUM?
There is a wall inside the nose that divides the nasal cavity into halves. This wall is called the “nasal septum” and is ideally positioned precisely in the midline, thus separating the left and right sides of the nose into passageways of approximately equal size. The septum is composed of a central supporting cartilage covered on each side with mucous membrane. In many individuals, there are minor deviations of the septum due to injury sustained during childbirth and natural skeletal growth. In some individuals, due to trauma or excessive skeletal growth, the septum becomes excessively deviated and nasal obstruction occurs.
EFFECTS OF A DEVIATED NASAL SEPTUM
When the septum is significantly protruding off the midline (deviated), patients often have complaints of nasal obstruction, nasal congestion, chronic sinusitis, and headaches. A crooked septum impairs the natural flow of air through the nasal passages and can significantly affect breathing through the nose and potentially interfere with normal sinus drainage. Many patients who complain of constant sinus infections and pressure are simply suffering from impaired nasal airflow and congestion due to a deviated nasal septum. A severely deviated septum can also alter the outward appearance of the nose and can be corrected with a cosmetic surgery called Rhinoplasty.
Most Common Symptoms of Deviated Septum
- Blockage of one or both nostrils resulting in impaired daytime breathing
- Nasal congestion - may be one-sided or involve both sides
- Frequent nosebleeds
- Persistent sinus infections or facial pressure
- Facial pain, headaches, postnasal drip
- Snoring and sleep apnea
- Mouth breathing
CAUSES OF THE DEVIATED SEPTUM
The nose, being the most prominent figure on the face, is very susceptible to injury and a deviated septum is frequently caused by a blow to the face or it can be present at birth.
TREATMENT FOR THE DEVIATED SEPTUM
Septoplasty is the most common and effective treatment for a deviated septum. It is usually performed after medical therapies, such as nasal steroid sprays, are no longer effective in relieving nasal obstruction. Dr. Gunnlaugsson can determine this during your consultation. He will also determine if other causes for nasal obstruction, such as allergies or chronic sinusitis, are contributing to the underlying problem. A septoplasty is performed through the nostrils, so there is no bruising or external signs of the surgery. A turbinate reduction, whereby the internal humidifying bones of the nose are reduced in size to further improve breathing, is often performed in conjunction with a septoplasty and would be discussed prior to the procedure. A typical recovery time for a septoplasty is approximately one week. If correction for the appearance of the nose is desired, a septoplasty is then combined with rhinoplasty surgery to reshape the nose for cosmetic appearance and to correct functional problems.