Deviated Septum (Septoplasty)

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Septoplasty straightens a deviated (crooked) septum. The septum separates the right and left sides of your nose. It’s made of cartilage and bone and lined with a thin mucous membrane.

A normal septum is straight and centered. A deviated septum is bent or off-center. The deviation can happen:

  • During development before birth
  • As your nose grows
  • After an injury

A deviated septum can cause a range of problems. A bent septum can disturb your sleep and breathing, and in some cases may lead to sinus infections and headaches.

We can combine septoplasty with other procedures, such as rhinoplasty or sinus surgery.

Septoplasty: What Should I Expect?

Your doctor:

  • Makes a cut on the inside of your nose
  • Lifts the septum lining out of the way
  • Moves, removes or reshapes portions of the bent septum
  • Puts the lining back and sutures it in place
  • May add a splint to keep the septum in place while it heals (up to a week)

The procedure:

  • Lasts about 1-1½ hours
  • Requires general anesthesia
  • Is done at the hospital or outpatient surgery center and requires staying there for 3-4 hours

Recovering after Septoplasty

To help with healing:

  • Don't blow your nose, even though you may feel stuffy.
  • Keep your head elevated (higher than your heart) when lying down for the first 1-2 days.
  • Use ice packs on your nose to ease swelling and pain.
  • Don't take aspirin products for pain.
  • Keep the nose moist with saline sprays or saline rinses

Signs of a Complication

Call your doctor if any of these occur:

  • Fever or chills
  • Redness, swelling, pain, excess bleeding or pus from the nose
  • Packing from your nose falls into the back of your throat
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Vomit that is bloody or the color of coffee grounds
  • Pain that doesn’t get better with the medicines you were given
  • Coughing, breathing problems or chest pain