NYC Septoplasty Surgery
A septoplasty is a surgical procedure to correct defects or deformities of the septum, the partition between the two nostrils. Commonly, the procedure is performed to correct a deviated septum. While a small deviation of the septum is commonplace, if the condition is severe, it may impede airflow through the nostrils. This may cause difficulty breathing and poor nasal drainage from the sinuses, both of which are problematic.
In adults, the nasal septum is composed of both cartilage and bone. The function of the nasal septum is to support the mucous membranes of the nose and to regulate air flow. Septoplasty is commonly performed to help relieve nasal obstruction and in some cases, it may be a part of other surgical procedures including sinus surgery or nasal tumor or polyp removal. Septoplasty straightens the nasal septum by trimming, repositioning and replacing cartilage or bone within the nose.
Dr. David Volpi is a board-certified, nationally-renowned otolaryngologist with over 25 years of experience performing minimally invasive ENT procedures to treat deviated septums, sleep apnea, and other ENT conditions in New York City. For a better night’s sleep, request an appointment with our NYC ear, nose, and throat practice today. If a deviated septum is found during your consultation, Dr. Volpi may recommend a septoplasty to improve your nasal breathing and overall health.
The Septoplasty Procedure
The septoplasty is performed as an outpatient procedure and either a general or local anesthetic may be used. During a septoplasty, Dr. David O. Volpi straightens the septum and repositions it to the center of the nose. The procedure may involve removing a small part of the septum itself.
A septoplasty may also be performed in conjunction with a rhinoplasty in order to ensure that the reshaping of the nose does not result in a reduction of the amount of breathing space or in conjunction with sinus surgery to assist in post-surgical drainage. Any incisions are stitched closed with dissolvable stitches. After the procedure, there may be splints or packing (of cotton) placed inside the nose to prevent bleeding during the healing process.
Benefits of Septoplasty
Within three to six weeks following the septoplasty procedure, most patients report a significant improvement in nasal airflow. Immediately after the procedure, patients experience initial swelling and nasal congestion.
Following the septoplasty procedure, you can expect:
- Improved breathing – due to the opening up of the nasal passages, the overall breathing function is greatly improved.
- Improved sleep patterns – reshaping a bent septum not only improves airflow, it can reduce or eliminate snoring and improve sleep quality
- Improved senses – patient whose sense of smell or taste were impaired due to the impact of a deviated septum, will be able to breathe fully and enjoy their sense of taste once again
- Decrease in frequency of sinus infections, nosebleeds, and headaches – without narrowed or partially blocked sinuses, the airways will drain properly
Recovery from Septoplasty
Most patients return home the same day of the procedure. Packing is usually removed from the nose about 24 hours after the procedure, which helps make patients more comfortable. Patients may experience some swelling and nasal drainage.
During the recovery period, there is minimal pain; patients can return to non-strenuous activities the day after the procedure and are advised to refrain from any strenuous or physical activity for one to two weeks after the procedure. Patients are also advised to elevate their heads while sleeping for at least two weeks and nose blowing should also be avoided for two weeks after septoplasty.
Risks of Septoplasty
As with any surgery, there are risks associated with septoplasty which include bleeding, infection and an adverse reaction to the anesthesia. Risks specific to septoplasty may include:
- Excessive bleeding
- Change in the shape of the nose
- Septal perforation
- Fluid build-up within the nose
Most patients experience restored breathing after the septoplasty procedure. However, full relief may take up to a year, because the cartilage and bones of the septum tend to heal slowly.