The nasal septum is a wall of connective tissue located between either side of the nose. It's proper placement is in the middle, separating the right nostril from the left in equal portions. In some cases, it can deviate, or detour more toward one side of the nose than the other. This results in a narrowing or blocking of the nostril on the affected side. In many cases, a deviated septum is caused by an injury.
A deviated septum may not cause problems for the individual, but for some, may cause difficulty breathing, frequent nosebleeds, headaches and sinus infections. In cases where a deviated septum causes such problems, surgery may be recommended.
Nonsurgical treatments for a deviated septum may range from nasal decongestants to surgical repair. For example, nonsurgical treatments may include but are not limited to:
Surgery for a deviated septum is called septoplasty. Surgery is often recommended when individuals experience chronic sinusitis, regular nosebleeds, or noticeable airway obstruction. The procedure repositions the nasal septum to the center of the nose, where it belongs. During the surgery, the surgeon may need to cut and even remove parts of the septum before it can be placed in its proper position. The degree of improvement an individual can expect with such surgery will depend on the severity of the actual deviation of the nasal septum.
Prior to the surgical procedure, the surgeon places in endoscope, or a thin, round tube that looks much like a straw, into the nasal passages to determine the shape of the septum. Depending on the severity of the deformity and the surgeon's approach, patients are given either a local or general anesthetic. The surgery procedure takes between one to two hours and is commonly performed in an outpatient surgery center.
To repair a deviated septum, the surgeon accesses the septum through the nostrils. An incision is made to separate the mucosa, or the thin layer of soft tissue that lines the nasal passages, from the cartilage and bone that make up the nose and nasal passages. The surgeon then straightens or trims the bent cartilage into its proper position. Following that, he'll place to mucosa back over the cartilage and bone.
An ear, nose and throat specialist or surgeon undergoes traditional medical school, internship, residency and hospital training and then specializes in ear, nose and throat surgical procedures. An experienced ENT surgeon treats a wide number of conditions and diseases.
Accredited and certified surgeons should belong to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology or the Entomological Society of America or other similar organizations or boards in the surgeon’s country of origin. Always verify the education, training and experience of any surgeon who may perform surgery and make sure they are licensed to practice in the facility of your choice.
For more information about septoplasty and where you can find the best treatment option, do not hesitate to contact us!