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A septoplasty is a surgery for treating nasal blockage that is usually the result of a deviated septum (a displacement of the wall between the nostrils). The procedure treats chronic or acute nasal obstruction, including chronic sinusitis and polyposis, obstruction caused by trauma or previous surgery, and obstruction due to enlarged adenoids and tonsils.

Benefits of Septoplasty Surgery

  • Improved breathing
  • Improved quality of sleep
  • Corrects a deviated septum
  • May help correct chronic nosebleeds
  • One of the most effective treatments for sinusitis
  • Can restore or improve a patient’s sense of smell

How is Septoplasty Performed?

During a septoplasty operation, an ENT specialist will align or straighten the bones that connect to and support your cartilage and septum by cutting away parts of the bone wall and reinforcing the remaining pieces.

 

This is accomplished with a well-hidden incision placed inside the nose and the physical straightening of the septum while the patient is under general anesthesia.

 

The surgeon will also perform a septoplasty to treat long-term sinusitis, remove nasal polyps, and treat other conditions that block the nasal airway. Occasionally, surgeons will recommend a septoplasty to stop recurrent nosebleeds.

  • Septoplasty is usually performed under general anesthesia; in some cases, a patient can be put under local anesthesia with sedation if there are no other health concerns. The surgery usually takes from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the complexity of the case.

 

  • An incision is made inside the nose between the nostrils, either at or below the level of the cartilage that separates them. The surgeon straightens and adjusts (or alters) the asymmetrical septum, removing extra bits of cartilage, or polyps, and repairing any damage to the area.

 

  • The incision is then closed with sutures.

 

There are several techniques available for use when performing septoplasty. Your doctor will recommend either open surgery, closed surgery, or the use of endoscopic techniques

Results

Well-done septoplasty surgeries have a very high success rate and can greatly improve the function and flow of the nasal airway. This improves a patient’s quality of life with better breathing and oxygen intake, deeper uninterrupted sleep, and a resolution of recurrent nosebleeds if these conditions were previously a problem.

 

If these measurements aren't reached, or your symptoms do come back, you may need another operation on the septum. Once a person has had septoplasty surgery, they may experience some minor discomfort when the nose is exposed to cold. This is usually only for short periods of time and can be treated with painkillers.

Dr. Kaveh Alizadeh

Recovery

Most patients return to work within a week of septoplasty surgery. Swelling of the nose and bruising due to bleeding usually subside within a week, but the recovery time will depend on how much correction was performed during your operation. Most patients will be prescribed painkillers for 1-2 days after surgery, and if any nasal packing is used, it will be removed within a few days or earlier.

Before & After

Cost of Septoplasty surgery

The average cost of a septoplasty surgery is about $5,000, however, this price may vary depending on the extent of the correction required, as well as based on what surgeon performs the surgery and where it is done (operating room, accredited ambulatory surgery center, etc.)

 

Many health insurance plans cover this procedure, so be sure to check to see if yours does.

Will I need a revision septoplasty?

Approximately 3 percent of patients require a second septoplasty surgery. This is most common when the patient experiences continued expansion of the posterior septum after their initial surgery due to nutritional deficiencies, chronic swelling, or trauma caused by a hit or fall.

What is a deviated septum?

A deviated septum occurs if the thin wall between your nostrils—called the nasal septum—is displaced to one side. This can be present at birth, or occur as a result of trauma or injury.

What anesthesia is used for Septoplasty?

A majority of patients prefer to undergo septoplasty surgery while asleep under general anesthesia. Use of a local anesthetic and IV sedation may also be an option for some patients.

How can I tell if I need septoplasty surgery?

Some people go their whole lives with a deviated septum and never have it treated. They may not even know they have a deviated septum. However, if the condition is pronounced, or is causing pain and discomfort, it is certainly worth having treated.

Will septoplasty stop nosebleeds?

A septoplasty may be recommended to stop recurrent nosebleeds, but this is a rare occurrence. Patients would typically be advised to try other treatments first such as nasal steroid sprays or other medications to clear up your nosebleeds.

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