Correction of the nasal septum
A deviated nasal septum is a frequently-encountered problem: according to statistics, it’s observed in nearly 80% of all people. However, the exact degree of deviation is unique to each individual case and may vary widely.
Most people who have a deviated septum aren’t even aware of it, since they’ve never experienced any discomfort. But there are also those for whom a deviated septum results in visual curvature of the nasal dorsum and displacement of the tip, and also causes a whole host of problems associated with health and well-being. The operation performed to restore the proper positioning of the septum is known as septoplasty.
Photo: on the left - a properly-positioned nasal septum, on the left - a deviated septum has resulted in occlusion and inflammation of the nasal passages.
Indications for surgery
Septoplasty is performed according to both aesthetic and medical indicators. Aesthetic indicators include changing the shape of the nose. The list of medical indicators is rather expansive:
- difficulty with nasal breathing;
- chronic sinusitis and otitis;
- constant nasal discharge;
- difficulty smelling;
- frequent nosebleeds;
- nasal congestion due to constant inflammation of the nasal mucous membranes;
- dry nasal mucous membranes.
Preparing for surgery
Photo: deviated septum and restoration of the septum. The questions discussed at the consultation between the plastic surgery and the patient before an operation to correct a deviated septum may change depending on whether surgical intervention is being performed due to aesthetic or medical indicators. Changing the shape of the nose may require a lengthier discussion involving a detailed exploration of the desired result of the operation. That said the scope of surgical intervention may be significantly expanded if it becomes necessary to change not only the septum, but also the bridge or tip of the nose. Before the operation, the patient must undergo computer tomography of the nose, and also take a number of exams (blood and urine analysis, EKG) and have consultations with specialists - including with the anesthesiologist.
How the operation is performed
A septoplasty is performed under general anesthesia. There are numerous techniques for performing the operation. In each case, the surgeon chooses the solution best suited to the individual patient. The goal of any intervention is to correct the deviation while giving the septum the right shape and ensuring the symmetrical positioning of the planes of the nose.
As a rule, all of the incisions are made inside the nose - or outside along the edge of the nasal column (columella). Thus, the possibility of external nose scars is eliminated. The operation concludes with the laying of a special plaster butterfly-cast.
Post-op, the patient remains under observation at the clinic for 1-2 days. For the first few days, the surfaces of the nose will be supported by rhinoprotectors and a hemostatic sponge, making breathing though the nose difficult. The sponge is removed by the surgeon during a post-op exam 2-3 days later, and the rhinoprotectors are removed 5-7 days later. The plaster cast is removed 10-14 days after the operation.