The septum is the cartilage and bone that separates the nasal cavity. When the septum is off-center, it is said to be deviated. A deviated septum can cause complications, so in some cases, treatment is necessary. We review everything you need to know about a deviated septum below.
What Causes a Deviated Septum?
A deviated septum may be congenital, or present at birth. It can also result from normal development as the nose grows. In other cases, it can be caused by some sort of trauma to the nose like a sports injury, fall or car accident.
What Complications Can Result from a Deviated Septum?
If your septum is severely deviated, it can cause symptoms that can affect your enjoyment of the Reading Terminal Market, such as:
- Difficulty breathing
- Noisy breathing
- Facial pain
- Nasal congestion
- Sleep apnea
How Is a Deviated Septum Diagnosed?
An ENT physician can diagnose a deviated septum by physically examining the inside and outside of your nose using a lighted instrument.
How Is a Deviated Septum Treated?
In most cases where a deviated septum is mild, no treatment is necessary. However, a surgical procedure known as a septoplasty may be necessary for a severely deviated septum.
A septoplasty is an outpatient procedure that usually takes about two hours. There are three steps for this surgery:
- First, your ENT physician will administer either local or general anesthesia so that you’re comfortable.
- Next, the physician separates the membrane that covers the septum, removes the cartilage and bone that is deviated, replaces the membranes and sutures them together with stitches.
- Finally, they will pack your nose with gauze and place bandages on the outside of your nose.
What Is Recovery from a Septoplasty Like?
Like with all outpatient surgeries, you’ll get to go home within a few hours. Expect some soreness, bruising and swelling for a few weeks. You may also have trouble breathing through your nose. Your physician will prescribe medication for pain and to prevent infection. Most people fully recover within a few months.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Pinnacle ENT today.