What Is Septoplasty?

Septoplasty is a reconstructive procedure designed to fix a deviated septum, which is a structural deformity that typically results in mild to severe breathing problems. In some cases, it is also performed to even out a crooked nasal appearance. A deviated septum occurs when the bone and cartilage wall that separates the nostrils becomes displaced or deformed, causing obstruction in the nasal passageway. When left untreated, patients can experience recurring issues such as nasal congestion or nosebleeds.

Patients who undergo septoplasty can expect relief from nasal problems and improved breathing, but in some cases, they can also expect modest aesthetic improvement to the external appearance of the nose.

Reasons To Undergo Septoplasty

A deviated septum can be present at birth or acquired later in life due to injury or trauma to the nose—which often happens with contact sports. If an injury causes excessive bleeding, a septal hematoma may occur, which can eventually result in a damaged septum if not treated properly.
The condition varies in severity across individuals. Some will not present any symptoms, while others may experience, at the very least, difficulty breathing through the nose. This is why some patients will require surgery to correct a deviated septum while others will not. For those with moderate to severe cases of this condition, septoplasty offers an effective and permanent solution.

Septal deviation causes nasal obstruction, which can result in uncomfortable chronic side effects that are detrimental to a person’s health and lifestyle. These side effects may include one or more of the following:

  1. Breathing difficulty
  2. Nasal congestion
  3. Loud, disruptive snoring
  4. Nosebleeds
  5. Face pain

Benefits Of Septoplasty

While septoplasty is considered more of a functional procedure rather than a cosmetic one, it can sometimes provide a modest aesthetic improvement due to the straightening of the nasal structure. This is why, despite the fact that most changes are made internally, you will often see a slight difference in patients’ septoplasty before and after photos.

The surgery can also be performed in conjunction with cosmetic rhinoplasty (also called septorhinoplasty) to improve the appearance of the nose while simultaneously repairing the septal deformity.

As a double-board certified facial plastic surgeon who specializes in nasal surgery, Dr. Jacob Sedgh is highly skilled in repairing a deviated septum while expertly restoring proper nasal functionality and providing a noticeable improvement to the appearance of the nose.

Patients who undergo septoplasty can expect the following benefits:

  1. Straightened septum
  2. Improved breathing
  3. Relief from chronic nasal issues

An accurate diagnosis is crucial for the success of this surgical procedure. Due to this, it is critical to choose a surgeon with a background in otolaryngology and who fully understands the intricate anatomy of the nose and the complexities involved in nasal airway surgery.

During your first preoperative meetings with Dr. Sedgh, he will interview you about your medical history, current respiratory problems, and related lifestyle habits. He will also perform a thorough evaluation of the nasal cavity to determine the appropriate surgical technique to employ. You can also expect the following:

  1. Complete physical examination
  2. Rhinoscopy and other diagnostic tests
  3. Explanation of the procedure and techniques to be used
  4. Discussion of the proposed surgical plan

If you can’t drop in for an in-person consultation, Dr. Sedgh can conduct your initial preoperative meeting via video conferencing. For overseas or out-of-town patients, his office can also help arrange transportation and accommodation, as well as concierge and aftercare services.

Septoplasty Procedure

As with most nasal surgeries, septoplasty surgery is often performed under general anesthesia. Dr. Sedgh will discuss your anesthetic options prior to the procedure, ideally during your preoperative meetings.

The incision approach will depend on the complexity of the surgery. The closed rhinoplasty approach, wherein all incisions are made inside the nostrils, can be used for simpler cases. However, in some cases, an open rhinoplasty approach is used for better visibility of the internal nasal structure.

To begin the procedure, Dr. Sedgh will carefully make a small incision on one side of the columella (hemitransfixion incision) to access the septum. The doctor will then correct the alignment by repositioning, trimming, or even replacing the bone and cartilage. He may also remove any excess bone or cartilage that may be blocking the nasal passages while taking special care to preserve enough cartilaginous septum for optimum nasal tip support.

In some cases, spreader grafts can be installed in the event of middle vault narrowing and internal nasal valve collapse.

Soft internal splints or packing material may also be used to hold the septum in place. The mucous membrane, which will then be repositioned to cover the septum, may also be held in place with the help of dissolvable sutures.

A septoplasty can be performed with cosmetic rhinoplasty to promote a straighter, more attractive nasal appearance. By utilizing a highly individualized approach, Dr. Sedgh is able to consistently deliver natural-looking, structurally sound results.

The procedure typically takes one to one and a half hours, depending on the complexity of your condition.

Septoplasty Recovery & Side Effects

Septoplasty is usually performed as an outpatient procedure. Immediately after the surgery, you may experience temporary nasal congestion, as well as some soft nasal tissue swelling, which should last around 7 to 10 days after the septoplasty. Recovery time typically varies between patients, but adhering to the doctor’s post-op instructions should help shorten this period.

Dr. Sedgh will prescribe over-the-counter medications to help alleviate any discomfort from the residual side effects of the surgery. He will also provide a specific aftercare plan to ensure proper healing and recovery. Patients will normally be advised to avoid strenuous physical activity and intense exercise for at least two weeks, and definitely no contact sports for at least a month.

As part of his commitment to providing exemplary patient care, Dr. Sedgh will personally monitor your recovery starting on the first day post-surgery up to a year after. Regularly scheduled follow-up appointments, whether in-office, over the phone, or via video conferencing, will enable Dr. Sedgh to oversee your postoperative experience and ensure optimum health and wellbeing during the recovery period, as well as the integrity of your results.

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