Why is a nasal septoplasty procedure done?
Septoplasty is a type of surgery that is used to repair a crooked septum. The septum is made up of cartilage and bone, and when it is not in the proper position, it can cause a variety of symptoms that can significantly impact a person's quality of life. A deviated septum occurs when the septum is displaced to one side of the nose, which can cause difficulty breathing, frequent nosebleeds, and even facial pain.
What are the causes of a deviated septum?
Causes of a deviated septum can sometimes be hard to pinpoint. However in other case, it may be as a result of;
1. Injury to the nose: Sustaining a nasal injury during some extreme sports, contact sports, or automobile accidents, may cause displacement of the nose from its position. These could lead to a deviated or crooked septum.
2. Congenital defects: Sometimes, a deviated septum is apparent at birth. The fetus experiences abnormal nasal development and hence is born with a deviated septum
3. Inflammatory conditions: Swelling and irritation of the nasal cavities or sinus cavities because of an infection can further narrow the nasal passage and result in nasal obstruction.
What are the signs of a deviated septum?
The most common symptoms of a deviated septum include difficulty breathing through the nose, nasal congestion or blockage, snoring, and frequent sinus infections. Other people have reported experiencing facial pain or headaches, usually on one side of the face. Also, people with a deviated septum may notice that they have trouble sleeping or wake up with a feeling of fatigue.
In some cases, the deviation of the septum can also lead to the appearance of the nose being uneven, which can be a source of self-consciousness for some people.
What is done during septoplasty?
Septoplasty is typically performed under general anesthesia and takes about 1-2 hours to complete. The procedure can involve repairing and repositioning parts of the nasal cartilage and tissue to create unobstructed breathing channels. During the procedure, the surgeon will make an incision inside the nose and carefully reposition the septum to its proper location. In some cases, the surgeon may also remove any excess cartilage or bone that is causing the deviation.
After the surgery, the patient will need to rest and avoid strenuous activities for several weeks. It is also important to avoid blowing the nose or sneezing forcefully as this can cause bleeding. Swelling and bruising around the nose is common and will gradually subside over time.
Overall, septoplasty is a safe and effective procedure that can significantly improve the quality of life for those with a deviated septum.
How is a correct diagnosis decided for a deviated septum?
A deviated septum can be diagnosed through a physical examination by a doctor, as well as imaging tests like a CT scan or MRI. The doctor may look for symptoms such as difficulty breathing, frequent nosebleeds, and difficulty sleeping, and use these signs to make the diagnosis. A deviated septum can also be diagnosed through a nasal endoscopy, where a small camera is used to view the inside of the nose.
If you are experiencing symptoms such as difficulty breathing, frequent nosebleeds, or facial pain, it is important to consult with an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialist to determine if septoplasty may be the right treatment option for you.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is Septoplasty a major surgery?
Septoplasty is usually performed as an outpatient procedure unless major complications arise, hence, septoplasty is a minor surgery that offers major benefits to people.
What are the risks associated with septoplasty?
Possible risks associated with septoplasty include continued symptoms, such as nasal obstruction, excessive bleeding, change in the shape of your nose, a hole in the septum, impaired sense of smell, blood clot in the nose post surgery, temporary numbness in the upper gum, teeth or nose.
What is the success rate of a septoplasty procedure?
When diagnosed correctly, septoplasty has a success rate of up to 90% with improved nasal functions after the surgery is completed.
Is Septoplasty the same as Rhinoplasty?
Septoplasty Is not to be mixed up with rhinoplasty. Patients seeking to have an aesthetic change in the shape or size of the nose need to consult a qualified plastic surgeon for that.
What are the long term benefits of septoplasty?
Some benefits of nasal septoplasty are ;
- Improved breathing since the nasal passages are opened up
- Better sleep quality also happens after septoplasty as it reduces snoring and/or sleep apnea and improves the overall quality of sleep.
- Fewer sinus infections as mucus now drains normally from sinuses that were narrowed or partially blocked before.
- Improved senses for patients that had an impaired sense of smell or taste due to the effects of a crooked septum.
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