When some people are asked by why they decided to have nasal surgery, they often say that they had the procedure to fix a deviated septum. While a deviated septum is a common problem, there is some confusion about what happens during the surgery to fix it and how the procedure differs from a cosmetic nasal surgery. It’s not the same as rhinoplasty, although it is possible for a surgeon to combine the two surgeries into one procedure. If your surgeon recommends septoplasty, either on its own or with rhinoplasty, there are a few things you’ll want to know about it.
One of the biggest differences between rhinoplasty and septoplasty is why the surgeries are performed. The goal of a septoplasty is to correct a deviated septum, or a septum that is leaning too far to one side or the other, blocking a person’s airway and causing congestion.
Rhinoplasty can be performed for a number of reasons. It can be performed to make a nose larger or smaller, to make it less crooked, or to smooth out a hump in the nose. It can also be performed to restore a nose to its original state after a person has a bad injury or has broken the nose. Finally, there are cases when rhinoplasty is performed to improve the way a person’s nose works. Even if a person doesn’t have a deviated septum, the shape of the nose or the size of certain aspects of it can create breathing problems.
Another major difference between septoplasty and rhinoplasty is whether or not a person’s insurance policy will cover it. Many insurance plans will cover a septoplasty if the surgery is deemed to be medically necessary. Usually, that means that other methods of treating the deviation or coping with the issues created by it haven’t been effective.
While rhinoplasty is usually not covered by insurance, especially if it is performed for only cosmetic reasons, there are a few instances when an insurance company will cover the surgery. For example, if the rhinoplasty is performed to correct an injury that has caused the airway to collapse or be blocked or if the person was born with a cleft lip that caused the nose to be deformed, an insurance company may cover the procedure. Coverage varies from policy to policy, so it’s always a good idea to confirm that your provider will cover all or part of your septoplasty.
What Happens During Septoplasty
You’ll most likely be under general anesthesia during the procedure, although it is also possible for the surgeon to use a local anesthetic and sedation. A septoplasty is typically performed completely inside the nose, meaning any incisions made will be concealed inside the nasal passages. Depending on how severe the deviation is, the surgeon may remove some of the septum, reposition it, or replace it entirely with a splint. If a patient is also having rhinoplasty, the surgeon will make any needed changes to the nose at the same time.
After the septum is corrected, the surgeon will close the incisions with stitches and may pack the nose to help the healing process.
What Happens During Recovery
One of the things that rhinoplasty and septoplasty have in common is the recovery process. You’ll most likely go home the same days as the surgery and will want to take it easy for some time afterwards. It’s a good idea to have someone who can not only drive you home from the surgery, but also stay by your side for the first day or two.
You’ll want to take about a week or two off from work, to give the nose enough time for initial healing and to give your bruising and swelling time to diminish. There are a few things you can do during the recovery to increase your comfort and minimize swelling. For example, keeping your head elevated, by sitting up and by using plenty of pillows in bed, will help keep swelling to a minimum.
You’ll also want to try your nose with care. Avoid blowing your nose or sniffing hard through the nostrils for some time after surgery. You might want to change your wardrobe a bit, too, and wear shirts that button up rather than shirts that you pull on over your head. Your surgeon will let you know when your nose has sufficiently healed and when it’s OK to resume your usual habits and activities again.
Scheduling Your Rhinoplasty Surgery
To learn more about the rhinoplasty procedure and the positive effect it may have on your life, plan your initial consultation now with the facial plastic surgeon who can help you 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 is exceptionally well trained in the field of 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.