doctor looking at a patient's noseOngoing breathing issues such as snoring and chronic sinus infections can be caused by anatomical issues such as a deviated septum. In cases where medication and other less-invasive treatments don’t provide enough relief, a septoplasty may be performed to help correct the underlying problem and provide you with long-term relief.

In this blog, the board-certified ear, nose, and throat physicians at DFW Sinus Select give a simple overview of a septoplasty procedure.

When is a septoplasty procedure performed?

A septoplasty is a surgery that’s performed in order to straighten a deviated septum. This wall of bone and cartilage separates your nose into two roughly equal-sized nostrils, but when it’s severely off-center or crooked, it can cause breathing problems, snoring, or other symptoms as it blocks the normal flow of air.

If you have these symptoms and less-invasive treatments haven’t worked well enough, a septoplasty may be needed to straighten your deviated septum and keep it from blocking your airway.

Who is a candidate for septoplasty?

If you’re having ongoing problems with chronic sinusitis (sinus infections that last longer than 12 weeks even with treatment), respiratory issues, snoring, or sleep apnea (a serious disorder characterized by repeated pauses in breathing), you may be a candidate for septoplasty. Your doctor can conduct an examination to determine if your septum is deviated and whether this could be the cause of your ongoing symptoms.

A tool called a nasal speculum may be used to help open each nostril, and your doctor may also use an endoscope (a thin, flexible lighted tube) to examine your septum.

What’s involved with septoplasty?

During your septoplasty, you’ll receive local or general anesthesia, and the procedure will take about 60 to 90 minutes. Your doctor will make an incision on the inside of your nostrils, so no skin will need to be cut on the inside of your nose.

The tissue that covers your septum will be separated from the cartilage and bone. The bent cartilage will be trimmed or reshaped, and the tissue will be replaced and secured with stitches.

What can you expect after your septoplasty procedure?

You may have some nasal congestion and drainage after your septoplasty. If you do experience pain, it’s likely to be minimal and may feel like a dull ache.

Your surgeon may have used splints to help ensure that your septum heals straight, and these may need to be removed. Otherwise, your stitches will dissolve on their own.

In addition, you may need to use saline nasal sprays and nasal irrigation (such as a neti pot) to help care for your nose for a few weeks.

As the area heals, you should find that you are able to breathe easier since your septum is no longer blocking your nasal passages, and if you have had other symptoms also associated with a deviated septum, these should also improve.

If you’re experiencing snoring, chronic sinusitis, or other breathing issues, schedule an evaluation today with the ear, nose, and throat specialists at DFW Sinus Select.

We’ll accurately diagnose the underlying cause of your symptoms, and if you have a severely deviated septum, we’ll talk with you about whether a septoplasty could help alleviate your symptoms. Contact DFW Sinus Select today!