Septoplasty, when performed successfully, can restore a deviated septum to the medial position by adjusting the cartilage and if required, the bone structures supporting them. This straightens the nose and clears any obstruction caused by the cartilage.
Septoplasty is not to be confused with the following plastic surgery procedures involving the nose:
• Rhinoplasty: Augmentation of the nose and nose bridge
• Tip plasty: Augmentation of the tip of the nose
• Alarplasty: Widening/narrowing of the nostrils not involving the septum
Nevertheless, these procedures may be performed together if required/desired. Do discuss this with the plastic surgeon if you wish to do so.
Septoplasty is performed under local or general anaesthesia. During the procedure, the surgeon will make incisions on the medial side of the nostrils to expose the nasal cartilage. A small incision may be made on the skin at the base of the septum sometimes for more complex operations.
From these incisions, the surgeon will shift and remove the deviated nose cartilage and bones as required. When the septum is in the desired position and shape, the incisions are closed with dissolvable sutures.
Small plastic splints may be inserted for several days to facilitate healing and prevent the septum from deviating again while it reforms.
As with all surgical procedures, there are some risks involved. Depending on the success of the surgery, the following complications may occur:
• Temporary/permanent impaired smell, taste and sensation of the nose resulting from disturbed/damaged nerves around the surgical area.
• Excessive bleeding from the nose
• Infection and inflammation
• Perforation of the nasal septum during or after the surgery. This can cause intense pain and should be addressed immediately
If the nose does not heal well post-surgery, or severe complications arise, a follow-up session may be required to rectify the issue and prevent long-term damage.
However, most of these complications can be avoided with skilled techniques and experienced hands. Be sure to consult a reputable surgeon for your septoplasty.