Septoplasty is a surgical procedure performed to correct a deviated septum, which is a condition where displacement of the septum obstructs the breathing passage and impedes airflow.
Signs of a deviated septum include:
A deviated septum can be caused by either trauma or congenital disorder (compression of the nose during birth). Approximately 80% of men and women worldwide have a deviated septum, although not all suffer from the symptoms mentioned above.
Many patients who have suffered from symptoms related to a deviated septum seek deviated septum surgery to help correct the problem and improve their breathing. Septoplasty is performed as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia.
A specialized rhinoplasty surgeon precisely trims and relocates necessary components of the septum (the center portion inside the nose dividing the two nostrils). The septum is then corrected and aligned to provide a proportionate breathing path between the two nostrils. In some cases turbinate reduction may also be performed alongside septoplasty to correct the interior turbinate which may become enlarged or collapsed due to the nature of a deviated septum.
During septoplasty, incisions are made inside the nose to prevent any visible scarring. In some cases splints and packing are used to help stabilize the nose during recovery. A cast is placed over top of the nose to maintain the structure during the healing process and gauze is taped under the nostrils to absorb any bleeding which can occur the first 3-4 days after surgery.
Splints, casts and packing are generally removed after about a week and a saline irrigation regimen is then recommended for healing. Swelling and bruising is common and generally lasts 2-4 weeks. Patients who undergo septoplasty should not blow their nose for at least 2 weeks after surgery and should be very cautious for the first few months as the nose is very delicate.
After septoplasty, patients experience significant improvements in breathing, which also improves sleeping habits and reduces instance of sinus infections.
Many patients who are considering septoplasty also consider rhinoplasty which is a cosmetic procedure performed to improve the shape, side and projection of the nose. Read more about RHINOPLASTY.
Septoplasty is one of the most common procedures covered by insurance. Since a deviated septum can cause serious problems including chronic sinusitis and sleep apnea, it is deemed a medical necessity by insurance companies and is often covered through insurance plans.
Insurance does NOT cover cosmetic procedures, but will cover the septoplasty portion of the cost of a septorhinoplasty which includes surgeon’s fees and OR fees. To see if you qualify for septoplasty with insurance, please fill out our free insurance verification form to the right.