What is septoplasty?
The septum is a partition separating the two chambers of the nose. The septum is composed of bone, cartilage, and lined by mucous membrane. It is usually straight, provides a framework to the nose, and maintains its elasticity too. It can handle a substantial amount of force; however, a tremendous force can lead to fracture, resulting in the deviation of the septum. A deviated septum can lead to nasal obstruction.
Septoplasty is a procedure to straighten a deviated septum. Repositioning of the deviated septum clears the obstruction, improves the airflow, and the quality of life.
What is septoplasty used for?
Septoplasty can be recommended in any of the following conditions:
- nasal obstruction caused due to deformity in the nose
- bleeding from nostrils
- obstruction present in the opening of the sinus
- trauma which might result in the deviation of the septum
- cosmetic purpose; and
- septoplasty can provide access to the surgeon to perform brain tumor resection
When should septoplasty be avoided?
Septoplasty should be avoided if any of the following medical conditions persists:
- large hole or fissures present in the septum
- cocaine abuse
- cancer of the lymph nodes
- a condition that causes inflammation of blood vessels of the septum (Wegner granulomatosis)
What does the septoplasty procedure involve?
Before the surgery
- You will have to consult your surgeon before the surgery; during the consultation, your surgeon may ask you to undergo a CT scan.
- You will have to detail your medical as well as medication history; mention specifically any history of allergy, nasal surgery, and nasal trauma.
- You will be informed about the risks and benefits of this procedure.
- You may be asked to refrain from taking herbal extracts and vitamin supplements a few weeks before the surgery.
- If you are allergic to a certain food or environmental irritant, you need to discuss it with your surgeon.
During the surgery
- Your surgeon might give you local or general anesthesia to make you numb or unconscious throughout the procedure.
- An incision is made on the side of the nose to access the septum.
- The surgeon lifts the mucous membrane; which is the protective covering of septum.
- The deviation is corrected and repositioned to the desired shape.
- The incision is closed and packed with petroleum jelly stripping.
- Septoplasty requires only a few hours to complete.
After the surgery
When to call the doctor about septoplasty complications
If any of these symptoms appear, immediately contact your physician:
- Intense pain,
- Difficulty in breathing,
- Postoperative fever,
- Lowering blood pressure,
- Inflammation and reddening of the skin,
- Excessive bleeding from nostrils and
- Loss of smell.
Septoplasty is generally a low risk procedure and the healing takes place rapidly. It is possible to initially have nasal obstruction and worsening of symptoms. However, with the advancement of technology such as endoscopic septoplasty and laser-assisted septoplasty, results have improved and relapse rates have decreased.
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Deviated SeptumA deviate septum is a condition that may require surgery. With a deviated septum, the bone and cartilage that divide the nasal cavity of the nose in half (nasal septum) is significantly off-center or crooked. The causes of a deviated septum can be congenital, or develop after a trauma or injury to the nose. Symptoms of a deviated septum include nasal congestion, recurrent sinus infections, nosebleeds, headache, facial pain, postnasal drip, snoring, and loud breathing. A deviated septum can be relieved with medications and, if necessary, a surgery called septoplasty.
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