What is Septum Deviation?
The inability to position the nasal septum in the midline of the nose correctly for various reasons called “septal deviation”. In the septal deviation, the bone and cartilage structures of the nose settles in a crooked way. That makes nose breathing difficult, and in some cases it causes the nostrils to be completely closed, making it impossible to breathe through the nose. Most of the time septum deviation is caused by previous physical traumas, can sometimes occur in the mother’s womb or sometimes due to genetic reasons and structurally.
Septum deviation can be accompanied by swelling of the nasal conchas, called turbinate hypertrophy, which can make it more difficult to breathe through the nose. Septum deviation may also cause complaints such as chronic nasal congestion, inability to breathe through the nose, occasional nosebleeds, recurrent sinus infections (sinusitis), post-nasal drip and snoring, and may play a facilitating role in the progression of systemic disorders such as heart, blood pressure, etc.
What is Septoplasty (Septum Deviation Surgery)?
In cases where the nasal septum is in a curved position for various reasons and septum deviation is observed, the surgical operation in which bone and cartilage tissues are arranged is called “Septoplasty” (septum deviation surgery). During this operation, the bone tissues are removed and the existing cartilage tissues are rearranged and positioned appropriately.
Why is Septoplasty (Septum Deviation Surgery) Performed?
Deviation of the nasal septum can cause other problems besides causing difficulty in breathing. While not being able to breathe through the nose especially during sleep causes sleep disorders, mouth dryness, throat infections, snoring and oral health problems due to mouth breathing caused by deviation negatively affect the health and comfort of the life. Although chronic nasal obstruction does not directly cause a systemic disease, it paves the way for existing diseases to progress more easily. In order to solve all these problems, septoplasty operations are performed.
How is Septoplasty (Septum Deviation Surgery) Performed?
As in every operation, it is very important to make the correct diagnosis in septoplasty operations. For this reason, first of all, the general health status of the patient and the disorders in the structure of the nasal septum are determined. At this stage, sometimes radiographic imaging methods and intranasal cameras are used.
Then, it is decided which anesthesia method will be applied in accordance with the patient’s condition. While local anesthesia techniques were frequently used in septoplasty operations in the past, general anesthesia is preferred considering the patient comfort, together with the improved anesthesia techniques and the increase in anesthesia reliability today.
After the anesthesia is provided, the operation phase is started. At this stage, a small incision is made under the nose to reach the internal tissues and the excess bone tissue is removed from this opening. Then, if there are problems in the cartilage tissues that do not occur in excess, these are corrected in the nose and the operation is completed. If the structural problems in the cartilage tissues are too much to be operated inside the nose, the cartilage tissues can be shaped outside the nose and repositioned.
If the deviation of the nose is not only related to the internal structures and there is a bone curvature from the outside,”open technique septoplasty” operation in which the nose skin is stripped can be performed.
In some cases, septoplasty operation can be performed in combination with a nose aesthetic operation called ” rhinoplasty “. Concha hypertrophy, in which intranasal soft tissues swell due to allergies, etc., can also be treated by intervening in the same operation.
The incision opened after the operation is closed with the help of sutures. Sometimes self-dissolving stitches are used, while sometimes it may be necessary to remove the stitches 1 week after the operation. At the end of the operation, nasal bumpers are placed in the nostrils to control bleeding. The bumpers are developed today generally on silicone-based, and since the silicone tampons allow the patient to breathe, they are much more comfortable than the tampons used in the past. Within 2-3 days following the septum deviation surgery, the tampons are removed under the supervision of the physician who performed the surgery.
Who Can Be Performed Septoplasty (Septum Deviation Surgery)?
Septoplasty operation can be performed on anyone who has problems such as difficulty breathing due to septum deviation. Except for special cases, it is recommended to wait for the age range of 18-20, when the bone and facial development of the person is completed. If there is a nasal fracture or deviation due to an acute trauma, an operation may be required at an earlier age.
What should be considered after septoplasty (septum deviation surgery)?
After the septoplasty operation, the patient is followed up for at least 4-5 hours. Afterwards, if the patient’s conditions are suitable, discharge is carried out. Antibiotics and painkillers for preventive purposes are arranged by the physician after the operation. It is recommended that the patient rest for the first few days after the operation. Although people can return to their normal lifes within 2-3 days after the septoplasty operation, this may differ from person to person and this period may take up to a week.
One of the most important issues to be considered after the operation is the protection of the nose from blows and traumas. A blow to be taken during bone healing may adversely affect the success of the operation and deviation may occur again. If there are problems such as excessive bleeding, clouding of consciousness, bad odor, inflammatory discharge, and excessive pain after the operation, it is necessary to consult a doctor immediately.
How Long Is the Recovery Time After Septoplasty (Septum Deviation Surgery)?
After the septoplasty operation, people can return to their normal lifes in a short time. The initial recovery period usually takes 2-3 days to a week. The patient’s tampons are removed within 2-3 days and if suture materials that do not disappear on their own are used, the stitches are removed at the end of a week.
Swelling and bruising are not observed at the end of septoplasty operations performed with the closed technique. However, if the operation is more extensive and includes rhinoplasty, which is an aesthetic intervention, swelling and bruises can be seen under the eyes and around the nose within a few days after the operation. If this is the case, these existing swelling and bruises will disappear within a week.