Q-What is septoplasty?
A-Septoplasty is a surgical procedure in which defects or deformities of the nasal septum are corrected. The septum is the partition which separates the nostrils, dividing the right nasal cavity from the left. During septoplasty, the nasal septum is essentially straightened. When performed with rhinoplasty, this is referred to as septorhinoplasty. Septoplasty may also be performed at the same time as sinus surgery.
Q-Why is septoplasty performed?
A-For some patients the nasal septum may become so crooked or deviated that it inhibits breathing or results in other problems. For these patients, septoplasty is performed. In some cases, the deviation may be so severe that thenose appears crooked as well.
Q-What is a deviated septum?”
A-A deviated septum occurs when the septum shifts away from the midline and becomes crooked, inhibiting breathing and sometimes causing other problems.
Q-What are some symptoms of a deviated septum?
A-Difficulty breathing through the nose is the most common symptom of a deviated septum, and symptoms are typically worse on one side. Repeat sinus infections may also occur if the deviation interferes with the drainage of the sinuses. Other symptoms may include frequent nosebleeds, facial pain, headaches, postnasal drip, and noisy breathing when sleeping.
Q-What causes a deviated septum?
A-Septal deviations often occur as a result of trauma to the nose.
Q-Are there age restrictions for undergoing septoplasty?
A-While there may be some exceptions, septoplasty is typically not performed on minors because the cartilaginous septum of the nose grows until about age 18.
Q-Is septoplasty painful?
A-There is generally little pain associated with septoplasty surgery. Patients may experience some discomfort which is usually related more to nasal congestion than pain. Prescription medication can be taken if needed, and many patients find that Tylenol is sufficient after the first day.
Q-How long is the actual septoplasty surgery?
A-Septoplasty surgery usually takes 1 to 1.5 hours to complete.
Q-What type of anesthesia is used for septoplasty?
A-Septoplasty is commonly performed under general anesthesia.
Q-What is nasal packing?
A-Nasal packing is comprised of gauze or cotton packs which are placed in the nasal chambers to control or prevent bleeding after surgery. Nasal packing can also help to support the septum following septoplasty. While patients may find nasal packing uncomfortable, it is typically removed on the morning after surgery.
Q-What is the recovery like after septoplasty?
A-Nasal packing is typically placed in the nose after surgery and removed on the following morning. Because septoplasty is performed entirely through the nostrils, patients experience less bruising, swelling or other external signs of surgery compared to rhinoplasty. The head should be elevated while resting for the first 24 to 48 hours after surgery and patients should refrain from blowing the nose for 1 to 2 weeks. If a splint is placed on the nose it is usually removed within 7 to 10 days.
Q-What are the complications and risks of septoplasty?
A-The potential risks associated with septoplasty may include bleeding, the development of a hole in the septum, infection, and anesthesia risks.
Q-Does septoplasty leave scars?
A-Septoplasty is performed entirely through the nostrils, resulting in no visible scarring.
Q-Who is a candidate for septoplasty?
A-Candidates for septoplasty include individuals with a deviated septum who are physically healthy, mentally stable, and realistic in their expectations.
Q-What happens during a consultation for septoplasty?
A-During a consultation for septoplasty, you will meet with the surgeon. The surgeon will take a medical history and examine your nose and face to determine if septoplasty is right for you. You will discuss your expectations and all details of the surgery including the anesthesia, the facility, the recovery and the potential risks.
Q-How is septoplasty performed?
A-During septoplasty surgery, excess cartilage and bone is removed to straighten the septum. Splints, sutures or small plastic tubes may then be used to stabilize the septum.
Q-When will I be able to return to work after my septoplasty surgery?
A-Some pateints are able to return to light work activity as early as 4 to 5 days after septoplasty surgery. Other patients return to work around 9 to 11 days after surgery.
Q-Is septoplasty covered by insurance?
A-Septoplasty is often covered by insurance and you should consult with your own insurance carrier regarding the degree of coverage.
Q-What is septorhinoplasty?
A-Septorhinoplasty is the term used when septoplasty and rhinoplasty are performed at the same time to address a deviated septum as well as aesthetic issues of the nose.
Q-Can I wear my eyeglasses after septoplasty surgery?
A-Pateints who wear eyeglasses will need to tape their glasses to their forehead to prevent them from resting on the nose. Glasses can be worn regularly after about 6 to 8 weeks.
Q-When can I exercise after septoplasty surgery?
A-Patients are generally advised to refrain from strenuous activity for at least 4 weeks after septoplasty.