What is septoplasty?
The septum is the wall of bone and cartilage that divides your nose into two separate nostrils. A deviated septum occurs when your septum is moved to one side of your nose.
Septoplasty 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.
Once a septoplasty is healed, you’ll likely find it’s easier to breathe. You can discuss with your surgeon about what septoplasty can achieve for you.
What is deviated septum?
A deviated septum occurs when your nasal septum is significantly displaced to one side, making one nasal air passage smaller than the other.
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. If you experience symptoms such as difficulty breathing through your nose that affect your quality of life, septoplasty can be a good choice for you
During the septoplasty procedure
The septoplasty may be done with either local or general anesthesia. Which type of anesthesia is used depends on how complex your surgery is, and what you and your surgeon prefer.
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).
To further decrease the chances of bleeding and swelling, your doctor may ask that you 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.
Don’t blow your nose for several weeks.
Wear clothes that fasten in the front; don’t pull clothing, such as shirts or sweaters, over your head.
You should also limit your physical activity for several weeks after surgery to minimize swelling and promote healing. This includes most forms of intense exercise, such as running, lifting weights, and playing contact sports. These activities can increase your blood pressure and lead to heavy bleeding.
Most people find that septoplasty improves their symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, that were caused by a deviated septum. The level of improvement you can expect with septoplasty varies by person.