A septoplasty is a corrective surgical procedure to straighten the nasal septum (the partition between the two nasal cavities. READ MORE
A septoplasty is a commonly performed day procedure to remove a bump, narrow nostril width, change the angle between the nose and the mouth or else to correct birth defects, or other problems.
The operation takes around one hour to perform.
In most cases an internal incision is made inside the nostril so that no scars are present on the outside.
Very severe bends in the portion located near the nostrils may require a small external incision to correct.
Deviated nasal septum or “crooked” internal nose can occur at childbirth or as the result of an injury or other trauma. If the wall that functions as a separator of both sides of the nose is tilted towards one side at a degree greater than 50%, it might cause difficulty breathing.
The procedure usually takes about 60 minutes under a general anaesthetic with the recovery time about two weeks with a splint worn on the inside of the nose.
A septoplasty is frequently combined with a turbinoplasty procedure to improve airflow. The turbinates often enlarge and grow into the space left by a deviated septum.
If this is not corrected, breathing will not return to normal.
The incision is closed at the end with dissolving stitches.
Breathing is still possible around or through these splints.
Generally a septoplasty is deferred in children until they have finished growing. This is usually around the age of 16 in girls and 17 in boys, although all children are different. However, if symptoms are severe a septoplasty can be performed at any age. In these cases surgery is generally more conservative.
Some children may need a slight revision operation when they are older and have finished growing.
Small splints often need to be left in the nose after a septoplasty for one week. After a septoplasty, a single overnight stay in hospital may be necessary but not always. One week off work and two to three weeks off any heavy exercise is recommended.
Septoplasty is generally a well-tolerated procedure and most patients will report side effects of bruising swelling and pain for the first week or so after surgery.
A few of the possible but much less common complications of sinus surgery include.
- Abnormal bands of scar tissue (adhesions) may form across the nasal cavity within two weeks of surgery, which requires minor corrective surgery.
- Drooping of the nose is also a rare complication, which may require surgery.
- Numbness of the teeth and nose.
- Nasal stuffiness may still occur due to allergies or swollen turbinates so further treatment may be needed.
- Very rare but serious complications include severe adverse reactions to anaesthetic, a blood clot, stroke, heart attack and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak.