What is a deviated septum?
A septum is a wall that divides two cavities. In the nose, the
septum is made of cartilage, and divides the nose into two separate
chambers. A deviated septum is an abnormal configuration of the cartilage
that divides the two sides of the nasal cavity, which may cause problems
with proper breathing or nasal discharge.
What is septoplasty?
Septoplasty is a reconstructive plastic surgery performed to
correct an improperly formed nasal septum that may be caused by:
- birth defect
- damage from previous medical treatments
In addition to correcting a deviated nasal
septum, septoplasty may also be performed to correct other problems such
- cleft defects that
affect the nose and nasal cavity
- fistula in the
What are the complications
associated with nasal surgery?
Individuals vary greatly in their anatomy and healing ability,
and the outcome is never completely predictable. Complications may occur,
- reaction to the anesthesia
About the procedure:
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.
Depending on the severity of the deviation, septoplasty may be performed
- a surgeon's office
- an outpatient surgery center
- a hospital - outpatient
- a hospital - inpatient
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 may
- splint applied to nose to help maintain
- nasal packs or soft plastic splints may
be placed in nostrils to stabilize septum
- face will feel puffy
- nose may ache
- dull headache
- swelling around the eyes
- bruising around the eyes
- small amount of bleeding in first few
- small burst blood vessels may appear as
tiny red spots on the skin's surface
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.