Septoplasty - Overview
Septoplasty is a cosmetic surgical procedure which corrects deviation of the nasal septum. The nasal septum divides the nasal cavity into two parts. The nasal septum is supposed to be straight which allows passage of the air without any disturbances. However, in some people the nasal septum is inclined to one side making this side narrower. This significantly affects breathing particularly at night. Patients may have sleeping problems such as sleep apnea and they usually snore. Correction of the deviation results in better breathing.
The surgery includes removal of the cartilage part of the nasal septum, its straightening and then reconstruction. The cartilage is placed back on its original place and the wound is closed with dissolvable stitches.
Our body is not symmetric, therefore, even the nasal septum is perfectly straight in only small number of people. The surgical correction is only recommended and performed in people who suffer from serious problems with breathing caused by deviated septum.
What are Complications of Septoplasty
Septoplasty is a routine procedure and it does not usually lead to the serious complications. Swelling, bruising and pain commonly occur after the surgery and they are easily brought under control or withdraw spontaneously after several days.
One of the transient complications is numbness of the operated area. Numbness may affect the tip of the nose and upper teeth area. Bleeding is another complication but it does not typically occur after septoplasty. Bleeding is usually minor and does not require blood transfusions. In rare occasions bleeding may lead to septal hematoma. Septal hematoma is collection of blood underneath the skin flaps of the septum. It needs to be curbed surgically. Loss of smell has been also reported but only in small number of patients.
Infection is always possible and this is why patients are prescribed antibiotics which are supposed to be taken for some time after the surgery.
Scarring is normal process after each and every surgery and excessive scarring after septoplasty is rather rare. Excessive resection of the turbinates results in dry nose. And finally, in case that septoplasty has not been successful patients may undergo additional surgery.
What needs to be mentioned is that proper aftercare drastically reduces occurrence of complications.
Septoplasty is a very successful operation and patients are most satisfied with the results. Even if any of the previously mentioned complications occurs surgeons deal with them easily. Most of the complications withdraw on their own, some require medications and only small number of patients undergo minor surgical interventions.