Septoplasty is a reconstructive plastic surgery performed to correct an improperly formed nasal septum. The procedure is performed entirely through the nostrils.
People benefit from a septoplasty when they have:
Goals of surgery:
The primary goal of septoplasty surgery is to improve breathing through the nose. Secondarily, some patients may experience improvement in the areas of:
Before septoplasty, you may also need to:
In addition to correcting a deviated nasal septum, septoplasty may also be performed to correct other problems, such as cleft defects, that affect the nose and nasal cavity, and a fistula in the maxillary sinuses.
Individuals vary greatly in their anatomy and healing ability, and the outcome is never completely predictable. Complications may occur, including:
Septoplasty may be performed with the traditional open surgical technique from inside the nose. When open surgery is performed, small scars will be located on the base of the nose, but they usually are not noticeable. Scarring is not visible when internal surgery is performed.
The surgeon will provide guidelines for resuming normal activities. Many patients are up and around within a few days and able to return to school or sedentary work in a week or so.
Short-term side effects of surgery:
You can expect to have pain, fatigue, nasal stuffiness, and mild nasal drainage after your surgery. Pain is generally mild with this type of surgery and is typically well controlled with oral pain medications. The stuffiness typically results from swelling after the procedure, and typically generally starts to improve after the first week. You may have drainage of some mucus and blood from your nose after surgery. This is a normal part of the healing process.
You may be asked to use saline sprays or irrigations after your surgery. Please check with your surgeon about any post-operative care you will need to perform to allow your nose to heal properly.
Healing is a slow and gradual process. Some swelling may be present for months, especially in the tip of the nose. Final results of nasal surgery may not be apparent for a year or more.
A deviated nasal septum and large turbinates are two of the most common causes of nasal obstruction. However, there are other problems that can cause these same symptoms of stuffiness and difficulty breathing through the nose. For example, problems like polyps can cause nasal blockage. The best way to diagnose the problems that are contributing to your nasal obstruction is to undergo a nasal endoscopy. This is a painless procedure that is performed in our office. A small fiberoptic endoscope is used to visualize the inside of the nasal passages, and this allows us to determine why airflow may be reduced or completely blocked.
The treatment depends on the cause of the obstruction. For patients who have swollen turbinates, prescription medications like steroid nasal sprays can help to decrease the swelling and improve airflow. Over-the-counter decongestant pills can also help, but using these types of medications over the long term is generally not recommended because the medications can raise your blood pressure. For other patients, things like nasal strips can provide temporary relief of nasal obstruction. Some patients may continue to have blockage despite the use of medications and other measures, and these patients may benefit from surgery to correct the problems that are causing the nasal obstruction.
When patients undergo septal and turbinate procedures, the surgery is performed on the inside of the nose. Unless you are having a rhinoplasty procedure at the same time, the surgery will not involve the external parts of the nose. So, your nose will not be broken, and there will not be any external bruising is very unlikely.
Complications may occur, including:
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