The septum is the bone and cartilage that divides your nostrils. In some people, the septum is crooked, which can make it harder to breathe through your nose when hiking on Estrella Mountain Regional parks or participating in other physical activities. This condition is known as a deviated septum, and it is treated with a surgical procedure called a septoplasty. Below we review everything you should expect before, during and after a septoplasty.
Before a Septoplasty
You’ll meet with a surgeon at Arizona Desert Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists prior to your surgery for a consultation. During the consultation, they will review:
- Your medical history, including any conditions you’ve had as well as current medications and supplements you’re taking.
- The anatomy of the inside and outside of your nose by conducting a physical exam using a lighted scope.
- Photographs of your nose, which they will also use to reference during and after the procedure.
- Expectations, including what a septoplasty can and can’t do for you.
During a Septoplasty
During your septoplasty procedure, the surgeon will:
- Administer anesthesia. You and your doctor will discuss whether local or general anesthesia is appropriate for you prior to the procedure.
- Make an incision, which in most cases will be within the nasal cavity. If you’re also getting a rhinoplasty (nose job), the incision may be made across the columella, which is the narrow strip of tissue separating the nostrils.
- Separate the mucosal lining by lifting away the membrane that covers the surface of the septum.
- Correct the deviated septum by moving and reshaping the cartilage as needed.
- Close the incision by replacing the nasal mucosal lining and applying sutures.
After a Septoplasty
It’s important to follow all postoperative care instructions your doctor gives you, which may include:
- Elevating your head when sleeping.
- Avoiding blowing your nose.
- Avoiding strenuous activities, including aerobics and jogging.
- Wearing clothes that fasten in the front rather than pull over your head.
- Waiting until packing and splints come off to see the results of your procedure.
For more information about septoplasty procedures or to schedule an appointment with a nose expert, call Arizona Desert Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists today.