Deviated Nasal Septum ( Nasal Blockage )

What is a deviated nasal septum? 

The nasal septum is the wall between the nostrils that separates the two nasal passages. It supports the nose and directs airflow. The septum is made of thin bone in the back and cartilage in the front. A deviated septum occurs when the cartilage or bone is not straight. A crooked septum can make breathing difficult. The condition also can lead to snoring and sleep apnea.

The septum can be deviated during growth of the nose (developmental) or because of injury, such as a broken nose. It also may bend to one side or the other as a result of aging. Very few people have a perfectly straight septum. Septoplasty generally is necessary only when breathing problems or snoring do not get better without surgery. 

How is it treated? 

Surgery to straighten the septum is called septoplasty, submucous resection of the septum, or septal reconstruction. The surgery may be done along with other procedures to treat chronic sinusitis, inflammation, or bleeding, or to correct sleep apnea. Septoplasty also may be done to allow access into the nose to remove nasal polyps

You will receive general anaesthesia for the 60 minute operation. The septum and nasal passages are lined with a layer of soft tissue called the nasal mucosa. To repair the septum, the surgeon works through the nostrils, making an incision to separate the mucosa from the underlying cartilage and bone. The doctor trims or straightens the bent cartilage and then replaces the mucosa over the cartilage and bone.

If the turbinates are swollen and enlarged, turbinoplasty or radiofrequency turbinate reduction may be done to further improve the nasal patency.

What to expect after septoplasty?

  • Carry out nasal irrigations 2 times daily for the first two weeks after surgery 
  • Add 1 packet of irrigation powder to 200mls of warm water in the squeeze bottle.
  •  Use the squeeze bottle facing up to irrigate your nose.
  •  Bend your head over a tub or sink and with the tip placed just inside your nostril, flush your nose with a moderate amount of squeezing force on the bottle. 
  • Repeat the entire sequence 2 times or more daily until your first office visit in 1 week. Wash and air-dry bottle between use. 
  • You will have splints placed inside your nostril that will be removed on the first post-operative visit. The splints are to keep the septum straight. You may also have nasal packing for 1 night after surgery to stop bleeding and prevent the formation of a septal hematoma.  Please do not remove any string coming out from the nose.
  • Avoid straining & heavy exercise for 2 weeks after surgery. Nose blowing can be started gently 72 hours after surgery. If you need to sneeze, do so with your mouth open. 
  • You will have blood stained nasal discharge for about 1 week after surgery. This is to be expected. However, if the bleeding is profuse, please contact me immediately.