What is a Septoplasty Procedure?
It is a minor surgical procedure performed inside the nose to correct a septal deviation. If your nasal septum is not straight, you will likely experience breathing difficulties and discomfort due to a nasal blockage.
You may have been born with a deviated septum, but in most cases, it is caused by injury. To salvage the situation, your healthcare provider will first put you under either local anesthesia or general anesthesia. They will then make an incision on one side of your nose and lift the mucous membrane to access the deviated nasal septum.
The septum is about 3 inches long for an adult and comprises cartilage and bone. It helps separate the nasal cavity into two nostrils. Depending on the severity of the situation, the surgeon may reshape the septum or trim it before reshaping.
They will then reposition other parts of your nose structure, including the mucous membrane, and stitch up the cut. The surgeon finishes by inserting soft packing into your nasal passage to hold the nasal tissue.
A septoplasty procedure takes 30 minutes to 90 minutes. Since it’s minor, low-risk surgery, you will be discharged on the same day.
What are the Advantages of a Septoplasty
Having a septoplasty done can help you breathe properly and improve your health. Removing the nasal obstruction makes you feel more comfortable, sleep better, comfortably engage in active exercise, and experience fewer headaches. Besides, most patients report an increased sense of smell after the surgical procedure as their nasal passages are clear.
Looking at the procedure, it is relatively quick – it takes less than two hours. The downtime after surgery is equally impressive, as it takes only a week to feel stuffy and swollen.
Many people are of the opinion that septum surgery can improve your nose’s appearance. They couldn’t be further from the truth! While there have been cases where patients’ noses looked better after the surgical procedure, it is attributed to sheer luck.
The surgery is intended for medical reasons. Besides, the procedure takes place entirely inside your nose. To improve the appearance of your nose, plastic surgery will suffice.
What are the Risks of a Septoplasty?
Even though it is a low-risk, minor procedure, septoplasty still involves some risks. These include:
- Excessive nose bleeding
- Temporary numbness in the nose area and parts of your face.
- Opening/hole in your septum
- Reduced sense of smell
- Disfigured nose
- Formation of blood clots in the nasal space
There is also a high chance that surgery has yet to provide the intended solution. Consequently, you may still experience symptoms of nasal obstruction. In this case, you may need to undergo a revision septoplasty. Alternatively, a high point specialist may recommend other procedures, such as sinus surgery, turbinate surgery, or neck surgery to fix nasal deviations and related issues.
How to Take Care of Yourself After Surgery
You can effectively reduce the after-effects of septoplasty surgery by taking proper care of yourself. Here’s how to do it:
- Avoid blowing your nose for several weeks.
- Avoid pulling clothing over your head.
- Stay away from strenuous exercise and activities
- When sleeping, use a pillow to elevate your head.
- Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions on how to care for the operated area.
What is the Success Rate of Septoplasty
As mentioned above, a septoplasty does not always fix septal deviations. However, unsuccessful cases are quite few compared to successful ones. The success rate is up to 85%.
Who is a Candidate for Septoplasty?
If you experience difficulty breathing and sleep apnea, there’s a high chance you are an ideal candidate for septoplasty. Your healthcare provider may also advise that you undergo the procedure to get rid of nasal polyps, treat chronic sinusitis, and stop frequent nose bleeding.
Adults and adolescents usually undergo an outpatient procedure. It is rarely done in children as their cartilage is still growing. However, the procedure can be performed when necessary.