The goal of septoplasty is to straighten out the nasal septum and to relieve blockages or other structural problems relating to the nose and airways. Reconstructive or cosmetic rhinoplasty is often performed at the same time as septoplasty depending on each individual’s needs.
Some of the problems of the septum deviation that can be corrected through surgery are:
Septo-plasty can be undergone by people of all ages, improving their nose appearance and nasal breathing as well. The functioning of the nose is highly important providing a proper function and overall good health.
Here is a brief list of the benefits brought by septo-plasty:
- improving the appearance of the nose that becomes more straight, especially when performed together with rhinoplasty
- relieving nasal blockages and consequently improving breathing
- decreasing the chance of nose bleeding
- correcting the bent and deviated nasal septum and thus the nose shape
- improving snoring and sleep apnea (difficulty of breathing during sleep)
There can be also psychological benefits, involving emotional and social adjustment. For example, teenagers may feel self-conscious about their nose appearance. Taking this surgery only to look better may solve some of the problems, but patients must be realistic in their expectations.
Below is how septoplasty alone is performed. For information on rhinoplasty surgery please visit our separate webpage.
A small cut is made inside the nose on one of the nasal walls. The nasal mucosa is lifted up and anything that obstructs the airway is evacuated or repositioned. Bony spurs are trimmed and removed if present. The nasal cartilage and bone are straightened and moved to the centre. Giving a better looking nasal shape. Then, the mucous membrane is set back to its original place. Small splints may be placed inside the nose to better hold the septum in its new position. They will be removed in a few days.
Sometimes, the nostrils may be stuffed/packed with cotton materials in order to avoid nose bleeding.
The operation is rather short, taking about 30 minutes to complete. It is performed on an outpatient basis with IV sedation or general anesthesia.
As with any surgery, there are possible risks to consider. It is a fact that surgical complications happen infrequently. Although they are more likely in patients with compromised immune system, bleeding disorders or conditions that interfere with wound healing, the patient should be aware of them.
If rhinoplasty is performed in conjunction with septo-plasty then the risks will include other complications specific to rhinoplasty. Please visit the rhinoplasty webpage for more information.
The risks that may occur following septo-plasty are listed below:
It happens in less than one percent of the cases. If the patient experiences pain or redness following the surgery, the surgeon should be notified immediately. However, prior and post the operation, the patient can be given antibiotics in order to prevent this risk.
Bleeding and septal haematoma
This occurs immediately after the operation and is expected to stop in a few hours. This is normal bleeding. However, a blood clot (known as a haematoma) may accumulate in the septum. A return visit to the surgery is necessary then. If the patient experiences serious pain after the surgery, the surgeon should be notified as soon as possible.
Hole (perforation) forming in the septum
A perforation rarely requires treatment. If this hole causes pain or discomfort or an infection occurs, a revision surgery can be performed.
Toxic shock syndrome
Some patients may present streptococcus and staphylococcus bacteria in their noses before undergoing the operation. Packing the nose after surgery in people who have these bacteria increases the risk of toxic shock syndrome. The surgeon should be notified immediately if you have such symptoms as: high fever, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, chills, dizziness or fainting.
For the consultation with the surgeon, the patient is advised to prepare a set of questions that might help them better understand the benefits, risks and performance of the procedure.
Here are the most common questions asked by patients, related to septoplasty:
- Am I a good candidate for septoplasty surgery?
- What should I avoid prior to the operation?
- Can you explain the operation to me in detail?
- What benefits can I expect from the surgery?
- Will my nose look totally different?
- How will I look like? Can you show me on your computer?
- Can snoring be lessened following the surgery?
- What side effects and complications may I experience by undergoing the procedure?
- Will I have pains during or after the procedure?
- How long will it take before I can resume my normal activities following septoplasty?
- How long will the results last?
- What cannot be achieved by having septoplasty?