If expressions such as “I snore at night, “I suffer from chronic nasal obstruction”, “I cannot smell very clearly”, “When I wake up in the morning, I have complaints of postnasal drip and dry mouth” sound familiar, you may also have nasal septum deviation!
Before going into details about deviated septum surgery, I would like to share with you basic information about the septum deviation.
What is Septum Deviation?
Septum deviation, colloquially known as nasal septum deviation, is the condition in which the structure called “nasal septum”, which is composed of bone, cartilage and mucous tissues that separates the nostrils, is deviated congenitally or due to subsequent impacts.
Depending on the extent of the nasal septum deviation, people may experience respiratory problems and notice deviation in their nose shape. When it does not change the shape of the nose, nasal septum deviation is not usually problematic, but may lead to severe nasal obstruction and other health problems due to breathing problems.
Nasal septum deviation may occur congenitally or due to subsequent impacts to the nose. The main causes of subsequent nasal septum deviation include impacts to the nose, accidents and sports injuries.
The symptoms of septum deviation may vary from person to person, in proportion to the nasal deviation. Some patients do not have any complaint of nasal septum deviation, while others may experience symptoms such as chronic headaches, chronic nasal obstruction, nosebleeds, snoring, decreased sleep quality, asymmetric nostrils, dry mouth and postnasal drip. In cases where complaints due to Septum Deviation decrease the quality of life, deviated septum surgery (Septoplasty) should be taken into account.
Deviated Septum Surgery: Septoplasty
Septoplasty stands out as the only treatment method for patients whose quality of life decreases and health deteriorates due to nasal septum deviation. Septoplasty, which is performed only to correct the nasal deviation without interfering with the shape of the nose, is one of the most commonly used procedures among functional nasal surgery.
Septoplasty can be performed under local or general anesthesia. The choice of anesthesia is influenced by the general health of the patient and the procedures to correct the deviation.
Deviated septum surgery is completed in 30 to 90 minutes depending on the type of deformity in the nasal septum. During the operation, bones or cartilage that block the airways are removed or regulated by creating curvature in the nasal septum; if necessary, septum grafts are supported to prevent the nose from drooping.
Deviated septum surgery, which can be performed with open or closed technique, is planned according to the needs of the patient. Septoplasty is generally performed with the closed method without a “columella” incision; if the extent of deviation is too high and it is necessary to work comfortably in the nasal septum, open technique is preferred; therefore, this is called open septoplasty.
Patients who experience other symptoms of septum deviation, especially respiratory problems due to nasal septum deviation, can have a deviated septum surgery; when approached from this point of view, I can state that all patients whose bone development is completed and whose general health status is suitable for the operation are eligible candidates for septoplasty. When the patient requires immediate treatment such as nasal septum deviation due to trauma, intranasal bleeding, hematoma and nasal fracture, partial operation may be performed even if bone development is not completed.
Points to Consider After Septoplasty
If it is deemed appropriate after the follow-up of patients following septoplasty, they can return home on the same day.
It is critical for patients to protect their noses from impacts after a deviated septum surgery. The deviation may repeat if the nose is exposed to impact before complete recovery has occurred.
It is possible to develop mild pain in the post-operative period. Generally, patients can return to their daily lives within 1 week and get rid of their complaints specific to the post-operative period.
They should avoid intensive exercise and not be exposed to direct sunlight approximately 1 month after the operation in order to prevent bleeding.