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septoplasty

Overview

Septoplasty (SEP-toe-plas-tee) is a surgical procedure to straighten the bone and cartilage dividing the space between your two nostrils (septum). 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.

During septoplasty, your nasal septum is repositioned to the middle of your nose. This may require to cut and remove parts of your nasal septum before reinserting them in the proper position. Once a septoplasty is healed, you'll likely find it's easier to breathe.

If you experience symptoms — such as difficulty breathing through your nose — that affect your quality of life, you may consider this surgery to fix a deviated septum

Why it's done

A crooked septum is common. But when it's severe, a deviated septum can block one side of your nose and reduce airflow, causing difficulty breathing through one or both sides of your nose. Septoplasty straightens the nasal septum by trimming, repositioning and replacing cartilage, bone or both.

Risks

As with any major surgery, septoplasty carries risks, such as bleeding, infection and an adverse reaction to the anesthetic. Other possible risks specific to septoplasty include:

  • Continued symptoms, such as nasal obstruction
  • Excessive bleeding
  • A change in the shape of your nose
  • A hole in the septum
  • Clotted blood in the nasal space that has to be drained
  • Temporary numbness in the upper gum, teeth or nose

You may need additional surgery to treat some of these complications.

How you prepare

Before scheduling septoplasty, you'll meet with your surgeon to discuss benefits and risks of the surgery. This meeting generally includes:

  • Your medical history. Your doctor will ask about conditions you have or have had, as well as any current medications or supplements that you're taking.
  • A physical examination. You'll have a physical exam, including any relevant tests. The doctor will inspect your skin and the inside and outside of your nose.
  • Photographs. Someone from your doctor's office may take photographs of your nose from different angles. Your doctor can use these photos for discussion before septoplasty or for reference during and after surgery.
  • A discussion of your expectations. You and your doctor should talk about your expectations.

What you can expect

Septoplasty straightens the nasal septum by trimming, repositioning and replacing cartilage or bone. The surgeon works through incisions inside the nose using a endoscopic camera . No cuts or scars visible on outside of nose . If the nasal bones are crooked and pushing the septum off to one side, it may be necessary to make cuts in the bones of the nose to reposition them(Rhinoplasty)

During the procedure

The procedure is done under general anesthesia..

General anesthesia. With general anesthesia, you inhale an anesthetic agent or receive an anesthetic through an IV line. This type of anesthesia affects your entire body and induces a temporary state of unconsciousness.

During surgery, the incision is closed with absorbable suture. Soft silicone splints may be inserted inside each nostril to support the septum. To prevent postoperative bleeding, your doctor may place bandage-like material in your nose (packing). After surgery, you're moved to a recovery room, where the staff monitors you and watches for any complications. This procedure is performed on an daycare basis, so you'll likely be able to go home the same day or next day.

After the procedure

To further decrease the chances of bleeding and swelling, it is advisable to follow these precautions for several weeks after surgery. Depending on the extent of your surgery, you may not need to do all of these:

  • Elevate your head when you're sleeping.
  • Avoid smoking (smoking delays healing )
  • Don't blow your nose for several weeks.
  • Avoid strenuous activities, such as aerobics and jogging, for up to five weeks to avoid potentially causing a nosebleed.
  • You can do daily activities from third day after surgery and return to work in 1 week.

Results

By three months after surgery, your nasal tissues will be relatively stable.. Some changes can still occur for up to a year or more after surgery.Most people find that septoplasty improves their symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, that were caused by a deviated septum.