At our San Diego practice, Marin Aesthetics, Dr. Vincent Marin performs the septoplasty procedure to correct a deviated septum. Read on to learn about the problems caused by a deviated septum, and how surgery can relieve patients of these symptoms.
What Is a Deviated Septum?
The septum is the wall that divides the two nostrils and nasal passages; the bottom portion of the septum consists of flexible cartilage and the upper part of the septum is made of bone. The primary function of the septum is to help direct the flow of air through the nose. If the septum is displaced or bends too far to one side, it can affect breathing and the appearance of the nose. Of course, it is important to note that no one has a perfectly straight and centered septum, but patients with higher degrees of crookedness or displacement are more likely to experience breathing difficulties or unhappiness with the look of the nose.
What Are the Causes of a Deviated Septum?
A deviated septum may be present at birth, develop during the adolescent’s growth period, or become crooked as a result of an injury.
What Problems Can Result from a Deviated Septum?
A deviated septum may result in various problems, including:
- Difficulty breathing through the nose
- Reduced airflow
- Nasal congestion
- Loud breathing while sleeping
- Sleep apnea
- Chronic sinus problems
- Facial pain
When there is a significant imbalance of the septum, these symptoms tend to be more severe. To treat a deviated symptom, patients may first try medications such as decongestants, antihistamines, and nasal steroid sprays. When medications do not provide sufficient relief, nasal surgery is recommended.
What Is the Treatment to Correct a Deviated Septum?
Surgical repair of a deviated septum, or septoplasty, will improve airflow through the nose, eliminating the bothersome side effects that are caused by the condition. The septoplasty procedure may be performed on its own, or along with rhinoplasty or sinus surgery. During your pre-surgical consultation, Dr. Marin will discuss your options with you.
- Septoplasty: During the septoplasty procedure, a small incision is made in the septum. Dr. Marin will then straighten and reposition the septum so that it is centered. This may involve the removal of some bone and cartilage to even out the nostrils and create an unobstructed passage for airflow. To stabilize the septum and encourage it to hold its new shape, internal splints or nasal packing may be used for the week after surgery.
- Rhinoplasty: Many patients choose to have cosmetic changes made to the nose at the same time as the septoplasty procedure. In the septoplasty treatment, changes are only made to the septum. With rhinoplasty, additional changes can be made to the nose. The bridge of the nose can be treated to make it narrower or to smooth down a hump; the size of the nostrils can be reduced or reshaped to produce a more pleasing aesthetic, and the tip can be adjusted to minimize its appearance.
- Sinus surgery: Patients that suffer from chronic sinus infections may require surgery to remove inflamed tissue so the sinuses can drain.
Contact Marin Aesthetics in San Diego to learn more about septoplasty for a deviated septum.
*The content in this blog is developed to spread the awareness towards plastic surgery. Our blog is not intended to serve as a replacement for an actual in-office consultation with Dr. Marin. As such, the information within this blog reflects the unique cases of our individual patients.