Conditions We Treat: Deviated Septum & Septoplasty

Septoplasty is a type of nasal surgery that straightens the septum, which is the cartilaginous structure that separates the nostrils. A normal septum extends down the center of the nose. A deviated septum grows into the nasal cavity and causes a narrowing of the nostrils that impacts airflow. This leads to an enlargement of the inferior turbinate on the opposite side, which can also obstruct the nose. Septoplasty corrects this problem by realigning the septum.

In most cases, it is a quick procedure that can be completed in about one hour. The patient is placed under local anesthesia or general anesthesia, depending on the complexity of the surgery and the patient’s needs. The surgeon will then make an incision in the septum’s lining to access the cartilage and bone. Once the septum has been straightened, temporary splints, plastic tubes, and internal sutures will stabilize it during healing.

Illustration of a normal vs. deviated septum


What Are the Benefits of Nasal Surgery?

Septoplasty provides both practical and cosmetic health benefits. Some children are born with crooked noses, while others acquire them through injuries. The majority of people actually don’t have a septum that is perfectly straight, but a deviated septum causes significant misalignment of the nose. It is typically very noticeable and often causes recurrent sinusitis. Additional benefits of this procedure include:

  • Improved breathing
  • Reduced nasal swelling
  • Easier mucus drainage
  • Fewer nosebleeds


What Are the Risks?

While any surgical procedure can cause complications, there are few associated with nasal surgery. The most frequent adverse effect of nasal surgery, spinal fluid leakage. It occurs in only two percent of patients and is much less scary than it sounds. Spinal fluid leakage is almost always detected and treated during the operation, which means the patient doesn’t have any problems after the procedure is complete.


Post-Operative Care

Once the surgery is complete, the patient may feel dizzy or drowsy from the effects of anesthesia. That will wear off within a couple of hours. A gauze dressing will be placed on the outside of the nose. This needs to be changed at least twice a day, or whenever it becomes damp or dirty. A packing will also be placed inside the nose and needs to be worn for about 72 hours. Headaches and nasal discomfort are normal and can be treated with OTC pain relievers. It may also be uncomfortable to breathe through the mouth while the nasal packing is in place. Contact Dr. Samadi for further details.

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