Septoplasty is a surgical procedure to correct a deviated nasal septum. Also referred to as septal reconstruction or submucous septal resection, this corrective surgery straightens the partition between the two nasal cavities known as the nasal septum so that it runs down the center of the nose in the ideal anatomical formation. When the nasal septum deviates from the center line and into one of the nasal cavities, it can impede airflow due to narrowing that occurs in the affected cavity.
Deviations of the septum can often lead to nasal obstruction and sinus issues. A deviated septum can be the result of an injury or can occur during childbirth. If the septum that functions as a wall between the two sides of the nose shifts towards one side at a degree greater than 50%, it can cause difficulty breathing. In some cases, this shift causes the inferior turbinate on the opposite side to enlarge. This is referred to as compensatory hypertrophy.
Contact plastic surgeon Dr. David Cangello today at (646) 665-4222 to schedule a consultation for Septoplasty in NYC.
What Is Septoplasty?
Septoplasty is a nasal surgery that can repair and/or correct the passageways in the nose making it easier to breathe.1 Similar to rhinoplasty, it can also be performed to straighten a crooked or deviated nose. During a septoplasty operation, which is generally done under general anesthesia, Dr. Cangello will usually make an incision on the lower portion of the septum, known as the caudal septum. He then works through the nostrils to access the bone and cartilage targeted in the procedure.
Because every septum is unique, Dr. Cangello will tailor each Septoplasty to the individual. However, most Septoplasty procedures are comprised of five steps which include the initial incision to expose the deviated septum, identifying and releasing the internal structures that are the cause of angulations, realigning the septum, reimplanting crushed cartilage (when appropriate), and closure of the incision.
Dr. Cangello will begin by exposing the bony and cartilaginous portions of the septum by elevating the mucosal lining that covers them. He will then free the cartilage portion of the septum from its attachments to the bone. Then he’ll remove and/or reposition any cartilage or bone that is causing obstruction or narrowing of the airway. Lastly, he will realign the remaining portion of the bone and cartilage that has been preserved for structural support within the nasal cavity. Once the septum has been straightened, Dr. Cangello will temporarily stabilize it with a splint, small plastic tubes, or internal sutures.
Septoplasty can be performed using a closed or open technique or via an endoscope. Dr. Cangello will determine the method used for each patient depending on their unique anatomy and needs.
Candidates For Septoplasty
This surgery is typically indicated for individuals with recurrent rhinitis, a deviated septum, or other chronic sinusitis. Septoplasty can also be performed to alleviate recurrent epistaxis (nosebleeds) due to septal impaction or septal spur. Lastly, it can be done for cosmetic purposes to straighten a crooked or deviated nose.
Septoplasty should not be performed on patients presenting with acute sinus or nasal infection. Individuals with untreated diabetes, bleeding diathesis, or severe hypertension are not candidates for septoplasty.2
Septoplasty Risks & Recovery
Septoplasty is a common surgical procedure that has a very low risk of complications, and when performed by a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon, Septoplasty is both safe and effective.3 However, rare complications such as bleeding, septal hematoma, septal perforation, and hyposmia (decreased sense of smell) have been reported.4
During Septoplasty recovery, patients can experience mild to moderate tenderness or pain at the front of the nose, as well as stuffiness due to swelling. Nasal drainage of blood and mucous is also common.
Patients can expect swelling and congestion inside the nose to last between two and three days, and drainage may continue for up to five days. While over-the-counter (OTC) medications usually suffice, Dr. Cangello may prescribe a pain reliever for the first day following surgery as well as a saline spray or irrigation treatment several times per day for the week following surgery to clear any nasal congestion. Full recovery generally takes one to two months.
1 Mediline Plus, U.S National Library of Medicine. Septoplasty. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003012.htm. Accessed November 30, 2020.
2 Dhingra, P.L (2010). Diseases of the ear, nose and throat. New Delhi, India: Elsevier Publications. pp. 429–430.
3 European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology. Complications in septoplasty based on a large group of 5639 patients. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5992230/. Accessed November 30, 2020.
4 European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology. Complications in septoplasty based on a large group of 5639 patients. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5992230/. Accessed November 30, 2020.