The nasal septum is the thin wall of bone and cartilage that separates our two nasal passageways from each other. When trauma or birth defects cause the septum to be pushed to one side or become crooked (a.k.a. deviated), it can impact our quality of life and overall health. Deviated septums can cause frequent and bothersome sinus and nasal infections due to poor airflow and drainage of the sinuses. Breathing can become difficult so that many individuals have to breathe through their mouths, thus leading to sleep problems and other quality of life issues. For those with deviated septums, nosebleeds can be difficult to control and crusting from poor drainage is an all too common occurrence.
Nasal septum repair, also known as a turbinectomy or a septoplasty, is used to correct deviated septums. During deviated septum repair, the septum is straightened and realigned to the middle of the nasal passageways where it should be. Septoplasty can drastically improve quality of life and upper respiratory health for many people with deviated septums. The incisions are small and made inside the nostrils so they are not visible.
Septum repair is often coupled with cosmetic enhancement of the nose, known as rhinoplasty (a.k.a. nose jobs). It is not uncommon to see rhinoplasties and septoplasties performed together because deviated septums, especially those from trauma, can cause abnormalities or some dissatisfaction in the external structure or appearance of the nose, as well. The procedure can be done under local or general anesthesia depending on the overall health of the individual and whether or not other procedures are being performed at the same time.
Septoplasty surgery is typically done as an outpatient procedure, meaning an overnight stay at a hospital is not typically needed. As with all surgeries, septoplasty surgery involves certain risks, including those associated with anesthesia. After septoplasty surgery, most individuals experience drastically improved breathing and often improved sleep quality for themselves and their bed partners. Nasal and sinus infections become less frequent and less severe after deviated septum repair and uncontrollable nosebleeds often become a thing of the past.