The nasal cavity is divided into the right and left nostrils through a thin wall known as the septum. At times, congenital or traumatic factors can lead to its displacement from the middle of the nose. This condition is called a ‘deviated septum’ or ‘nasal septum deviation.’ The nasal septum of almost all people deviates more towards the right. So, a minor deviation is entirely normal. It is estimated that around 80% of people have a mildly deviated septum. However, surgical intervention is required when the deviation becomes too apparent, creating breathing problems or cosmetic issues.
Also referred to as septal reconstruction or submucous septal reservation, Septoplasty is a surgical procedure performed to straighten a nasal septum deviation. The function of a septum is to ensure equal airflow in the nasal passages. A deviated septum causes irregularities in airflow, with one nostril looking narrower than the other. Usually, nose tilt less than 50° does not cause any significant problems. Greater than 50° can create breathing difficulties would require surgical enhancement. Apart from treating a deviated septum, Septoplasty is also used to treat recurrent rhinitis (inflammation of the nasal mucous membrane due to allergic or viral conditions) or other sinus issues such as recurrent nosebleeds. It is an invasive procedure and can be performed independently or combined with rhinoplasty as per the surgeon’s treatment plan.
A nasal septum deviation is a painless condition and is usually not accompanied by any symptoms. When the deviation causes obstruction and leads to breathing difficulties, surgical intervention becomes necessary. Irregular septum size may lead to dryness and increase the risk of nosebleeds. Occasionally a deviated septum can also cause an inflammation of the facial muscles leading to one-sided facial pain. It may even lead to the formation of the nasal cycle, a condition of alternate obstruction of the nose, creating snoring problems and sometimes inflammations. If these symptoms don’t respond to medication, your doctor might recommend surgical correction via Septoplasty to straighten your septum and improve nose functionality.
Typical candidates eligible for Septoplasty are at least 16 -18 years old who either constantly worry about the aesthetic appearance of their face or breathing issues related to a deviated septum. Since the cartilage develops in childhood, having a septoplasty too early can affect midface growth. However, Septoplasty can be performed in newborns and children between 3 and 5 years of age if required.
Enlarged nasal bones leading to septum deviation will benefit from Septoplasty. If you have frequent episodes of nose bleeds or inflammation of the cavity due to a nasal septum deviation, Septoplasty is the proper surgical procedure for you. A healthy body without any systemic conditions and a healthy lifestyle decreases the risk of complications during the surgery and makes you an ideal candidate for Septoplasty. Additionally, for patients with nasal tumors, polyps, and frequent inflammation episodes of the nasal cavity, Septoplasty can provide essential relief and resolution.
Before fixing a deviated septum, it is essential to diagnose your condition so the surgeon can determine the right treatment plan. In the initial screening period, your surgeon will thoroughly examine the interior region of your nose to evaluate the extent of the deviation. The surgeon may conduct an endoscopy of the nasal passage as a diagnostic procedure. Blood tests and even CT scans will be required to assess your overall conditions before the surgery.
Note: A deviated septum can be treated with a simple procedure or as part of a more extensive combination of different procedures. Therefore, proper screening is essential. For more information, you can contact Dr Bashar Bizrah, one of Dubai’s most trusted ENT and facial plastic surgeons.
On the night before the surgery, you will be required to stop eating before midnight for the anesthetics to work correctly during the surgery. After the anesthetics have set in during the procedure, the surgeon will incise your nasal wall and lift or remove the mucosa, the protective covering of the septum. Following this, the surgeon will either reshape the cartilage or, if the need arises, reshape, and reposition the bones and the cartilage as per the severity of your deviation. Post-surgery the mucosa is placed over the septum.
The surgeon may insert splints to hold the nasal tissue in place during this time, depending on your nasal condition. Nose splints are small silicone devices used to stabilize the nose after the surgery. They consist of a bandage with two pieces of metal or plastic and, apart from protecting the nose, also help in reducing swelling after the procedure.
Apart from the splints, the soft packing material is also inserted for additional safety. The packing helps in controlling nosebleeds by preventing the formation of scars after healing the incision sites. This packing can be removed within 24-36 hours after your Septoplasty. The splints are removed a week or two after the procedure, depending on the healing of the incision wounds and cartilage stability. If required, the surgeon may use dissolving stitches over your septum. Dissolving stitches does not have to be removed manually as they gradually dissolve after a period. Apart from the septum and its surrounding cartilages, no other part of the nasal bone is dislocated or repositioned during Septoplasty. The entire procedure is over in 1-2 hours but may take longer if accompanied by rhinoplasty surgery.
Two weeks before Septoplasty, you will need to stop taking certain medications like Ibuprofen, NSAIDs, and any herbal supplements you take regularly. These medications can interfere with the anesthetic effects during the procedure, increasing the risk of severe bleeding or cardiac problems. You will also be required to give up smoking six weeks before the procedure as smoking will affect the skin and not allow the wounds to heal correctly after the surgery. Additionally, drinking lots of water and fluids with a healthy diet will keep the skin hydrated and provide the natural nutrients that facilitate safe healing. Please ask your treating physician for medical advice.
After the anesthetic effects wear off post-surgery, you will feel a moderate amount of soreness and discomfort. There will be swelling in your nose and the surrounding area for a few days after the procedure. You will need to rest and restrict your movements to allow the wounds to heal. You can apply ice packs over your face and eye portion for the first two days to reduce the swelling. After that, use a cotton gauze dipped with ice water to use over the inflammation area. Do not touch the operated area with your fingers. Use an applicator for applying Vaseline or antiseptic cream over the sutures.
Avoid dusty areas with smoke, and make sure to sneeze with your mouth open. Most importantly, keep the nostrils moisturized by using saline sprays, as dryness will increase discomfort during this period. Please follow your doctors’ instructions as they may differ.
The swelling after the nasal septum deviation surgery will last for 2-3days. You can go home directly after the surgery but need to arrange for someone to take you home as driving alone may be challenging.
Painkillers, saline solution, and sprays will help ease your pain and discomfort during this time by keeping the nasal area hydrated. For 8-10 days after the surgery, you will not feel any sensation in your face, lips, and nose area. Most of the feeling will eventually return, but the sense around the nose will take longer than others. Procedures are performed adopting to closed approach, leaving no or less visible scarring.
You can take a bath 24 hours after the surgery but will need to avoid a shower. Additionally, sleeping with the head in an elevated position will ease the inflammation to a great extent. You can rejoin work in 7-10 days after the nose splints are removed but will need to avoid doing heavy exercises or bending and stretching activities.
Also, follow a diet with lots of green vegetables and fibers to not strain your face during bowel movements. Avoiding crowds during this time will help the recovery process by preventing you from catching a viral infection.
A deviated septum can lead to a closed nasal passage that may turn into a breeding ground for bacterial infection. Long-term deviation of the septum can impair your senses of smell and taste because of long-term nasal clogs. Septoplasty can clear the passages of extra mucus and prevent bacterial growth. It will also help in recovering your sense of taste and smell. A nasal septum deviation often leads to excessive snoring during sleep that creates social problems for the patient. This can also lead to interrupted sleep that will eventually affect your quality of life. Septoplasty will clear the passages that cure excessive snoring and interrupted sleep. Additionally, Septoplasty can help fix a crooked nose or broken septum and improve the look of your nose aesthetically. If you want to know more about the Septoplasty procedure, you can schedule a consultation with Dr Bashar Bizrah.
The severity of the deviated septum, the experience and expertise of your surgeon, and any additional surgeries accompanying the procedure will determine the cost of your Septoplasty. A deviated septum without any skeletal abnormalities will be a less costly procedure than one with prominent skeletal abnormalities and nose deformities. A septoplasty procedure performed in combination with other surgeries like rhinoplasty will add to the cost.
The experience and expertise of your surgeon play an essential role when it comes to results and safety. A surgeon with an expert track record of conducting septoplasty surgeries and positive online reviews will most likely be more expensive, but should we settle for anything less than excellent when it comes to our health? To know more about the procedure, contact Dr Bashar Bizrah at Bizrahmed Clinic, Dubai – UAE.
Apart from the surgeon, the location and infrastructure of the clinic is another factor that will impact the cost of Septoplasty. Bizrahmed performs surgeries at well-reputed hospitals for patients’ safety and satisfaction. This ensures that patients will be well cared for before and after the procedure and health checks completed upon discharge. According to the case, patients are given a night stay at the hospital for their comfort, where some patients may leave the same day. Additionally, a clinic with an experienced team of medical professionals, where the latest technologies and surgical developments are utilized, may cost more than others. Another factor to look into as a patient is the follow-up care when deciding on your surgeon.