A deviated septum is a sideways displacement or malalignment of the wall between the two nostrils and passageways. The septum directs airflow and supports the nose. It is made up of cartilage in the front and bone in the back. The deviated septum occurs when the bone or cartilage is no longer straight. Correction of this deviation is called septoplasty.
Why is Deviated Septum Surgery Performed?
Additional names for this procedure include septal reconstruction and submucous resection of the septum. It may be part of a plan to treat chronic sinusitis, bleeding, inflammation, or sleep apnea. Deviated septum surgery may also be performed if there are nasal polyps that need to be removed.
Prior to the septoplasty, the surgeon may want to have a look at the passageways using a lighted instrument called an endoscope. The patient will then receive general or local anesthesia for the procedure, which will take anywhere between 60 and 90 minutes. During the deviated septum surgery in Houston, the surgeon will work through the nostrils and separate the mucosa from the underlying bone and cartilage. The bent cartilage is then reshaped and straightened, after which the mucosa is replaced. A deviated septum surgery can be performed in our Houston outpatient center, so the patient can go home that same day, barring there were no complications.
What to Expect after Septoplasty
There may be a nasal splint or pack placed after septoplasty in order to stop bleeding and keep the septum straight through the healing process. The Ent & Allergy Clinic surgeon will provide detailed and important aftercare and follow-up instructions, which must be followed exactly. For example, the patient should not blow their nose or sneeze with their mouth closed because it will cause pressure changes. There may be some swelling and pain, but these will subside within a week or two after the procedure.
What are the Risks of Septoplasty?
As with all surgeries, deviated septum surgery (septoplasty) is not without its risks. There is the risk of anesthesia, as well as infection and bleeding.