What is a deviated septum?
If the cartilage dividing your nasal cavity is off center or crooked, the condition is referred to as a deviated septum. A perfectly straight nasal septum is pretty rare; it’s estimated that about 80 percent of the population has a septum that is off center. The cause of a septal deviation is usually as a result of trauma, however it also can be just part of one’s genetic makeup.
The most common symptom of a deviated septum is airway restriction, either on one side or both. Other problems related to a deviated septum are:
- Sinus infections
- Facial pain and
- Nasal bleeding
- Noisy breathing
Those with mild cases may experience relief from the use of medications such as antihistamines, decongestants and nasal steroid sprays. If medications are ineffective, surgery may be necessary.
How is a deviated septum fixed?
To fix this condition a septoplasty must be performed. This 60 to 90-minute procedure repositions, trims and straightens the cartilage and bone that make up the septum. Most ENT specialists perform septoplasties routinely for airway restriction or in conjunction with sinus surgery.
What is rhinoplasty?
Rhinoplasty is the correction of a visible deformity of the nose. This can be done for cosmetic reasons only or because the deformity is interfering with the function of the nose, e.g. airway restriction. Since a deviated septum can alter the shape of your nose, which can throw off the balance of your face, a rhinoplasty may also be needed to repair and reshape the nose.
Both Dr. Donald Clutter and Dr. Philip Bernstein of Sacramento ENT are certified in facial plastic surgery and ENT. They have a wealth of experience in both airway and cosmetic problems of the nose. It is common for both of them to perform a septoplasty and rhinoplasty in the same setting; this procedure is called a septorhinoplasty. Combining these procedures enables your surgeon to improve both the functionality and the appearance of your nose, does not add to the recuperation time, and is less expensive than two separate procedures.