A deviated septum is a significantly misaligned, off-center or crooked nasal septum. The nasal septum is the bone and cartilage that separates the nasal cavity in half. Signs of a deviated septum include difficulty breathing, chronic sinus infections, nosebleeds, facial pain, headache, postnasal drip and loud breathing or snoring.
The symptoms of a deviated septum can sometimes be relieved with medication. However, it will not correct the misaligned septum. A septoplasty is a surgical procedure that corrects the misaligned septum. In the surgery, the surgeon goes through the inside of the nose to make a small incision in the septum and removes excess bone or cartilage.
A septoplasty can be combined with a rhinoplasty or sinus surgery. A rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure to improve the aesthetics of the nose. Sinus surgery is a surgical solution for people suffering from chronic sinusitis when other treatments have not helped. Sinus surgery options include functional endoscopic sinus surgery, image guided surgery and Caldwell Luc operation.
A septoplasty alone will result in minimal swelling or bruising; however, a septorhinoplasty may result in up to two weeks of swelling or bruising. It is recommended to wait until after the nose has stopped growing to perform the surgery. The nose typically stops growing around age 15. Septoplasty risks include infection, bleeding, perforation of the septum and loss of the ability to smell.
If you or someone you care for is showing signs of a deviated septum or interested in a septoplasty, please contact our office at 717-728-9700 to schedule an evaluation.