If you’ve heard the term “deviated septum” before, you may not necessarily know what it means. The words are used often without explanation for what causes the condition, what it involves, how it can affect you, and how it can be managed or corrected. Many men and women who have been diagnosed with a deviated septum don’t fully understand the implications. When you discuss your deviated septum with an experienced facial plastic surgeon, you’ll learn more about the causes, effects, and solutions for this inconvenient and sometimes troublesome condition.
About Deviated Septum
The septum is a small and delicate piece of cartilage that is balanced between the nasal passages as a sort of divider. When it is straight and properly in place, your airways will operate without obstruction, leaving you able to breathe free and clear. Each nostril will be able to inhale and exhale the same amounts of air. When this cartilage is misaligned, crooked to one side or the other, it is called a deviated septum. As a result, breathing may be uneven, sinus blockages may occur, and sleeping issues can be a result. A surprising 80 percent of all people are estimated to have some degree of deviation to their septum.
Symptoms of Deviated Septum
A majority of deviated septums are formed at birth slightly off center or tilted at an angle. Still, there are other factors that can contribute to causing a deviated septum or increasing its degree of deviation. Regardless of how your septum became deviated, you may be experiencing some of the following symptoms:
- Recurring sinus infections.
- Frequent nosebleeds
- Facial pain around the nose and sinus cavities.
- Chronic nasal congestion, with one side often more congested than the other.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Frequent headaches.
- Postnasal drip.
- Loud breathing or snoring when sleeping, sometimes causing sleep apnea.
Many of these side effects of a deviated septum can cause discomfort, frustration, and even fatigue. Even if your symptoms are only a mild annoyance, you should consult with a specialist or facial plastic surgeon to get a professional opinion about your deviated septum. Treatment could help you to literally breathe easier.
Treatment of Deviated Septum
If you are eligible for surgery and your septum has deviated enough to become an annoyance or something worse, treatment can give you some relief. Patients with mild symptoms may benefit from medication on a temporary basis, but those with acute symptoms should consider a special type of rhinoplasty called septoplasty.
This specialized nasal surgery will center on the interior structure of the nose, especially the nasal passages and septum. Your facial plastic surgeon will make the necessary corrections to your septum and surrounding cartilage. The extent and approach of your surgical procedure will depend on your nasal structure, characteristics, and the degree to which your septum is misaligned. During your consultation, your surgeon can give you more specific information about the techniques he will employ to achieve the results you want.
Following surgery, your facial plastic surgeon may place internal splints inside the nasal passages to hold the septum stable as your healing begins. These will be removed by your surgeon at a later appointment. You should also expect to see mild swelling and bruising around the area as well. If you so choose, you may have your septoplasty performed in tandem with a cosmetic rhinoplasty to achieve aesthetic results at the same time. Talk with your facial plastic surgeon about the results you want to see both inside and out to have your very best rhinoplasty procedure.
Get Started with Your Rhinoplasty Plans Today
To correct a deviated septum through nasal surgery, speak with an expert who can deliver the results you desire. Consult with a facial plastic surgeon to achieve your best results. Dr. Andrew Frankel is board certified in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery as well as Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (Ear Nose and Throat). He specializes in nasal surgery and has been recognized for his original research regarding vasculature to the nose and rhinoplasty’s effect on it. Schedule your appointment today with a world-renowned facial plastic surgeon to guarantee your best rhinoplasty results. Contact Dr. Frankel’s office, located at 201 Lasky Drive in Beverly Hills, California, by calling (310) 552-2173.