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Septoplasty is the surgery to straighten a crooked nose due to a deviated septum. Although it is an elective procedure which means the patient makes the decision to undergo the surgery, septoplasty cures several medical conditions in the nose.
There are primarily three reasons why an ENT surgeon recommends a septoplasty. It achieves any one of the following 3 objectives;
- Makes breathing easier
- Changes the shape and size of the nose
- Rectifies acquired or birth defects
Read this article to know the 5 major reasons that can explain why choosing a septoplasty is the right decision.
5 Reasons To Choose Septoplasty
1. Straightens Deviated Septum
This is the first and most common reason for undergoing septoplasty. Due to excessive deviation, the nostril may become blocked that, in turn, reduces airflow and the patient is unable to breathe freely. The person has to breathe through the mouth that can cause dryness in the mouth. The dryness can cause crusting and bleeding. To prevent the condition from getting worse, doctors recommend septoplasty. In this procedure, the doctor straightens the septum that helps the patient to breathe freely.
2. Enlarged Turbinates
Turbinates are small structures found in the inner lining of both sides of the nose. Due to unequal nostrils leading to unequal nasal passages, the turbinates can swell, these can become so large in size that these obstruct the passages and cause blocked nose, headaches, postnasal drip, and other symptoms of sinusitis. Therefore, the doctor can remove these structures to clear the passage so that the person can breathe freely. Not only septoplasty, but this can also be removed in a turbinoplasty too.
Some people often complain that due to their crooked nose, their overall facial structure looks imbalanced. Hence, they consider undergoing a septoplasty so that the crooked nose once corrected can enhance the overall appearance of the face.
4. Nasal Obstruction
As the name suggests, it is a condition in which the nasal cavity gets blocked due to some conditions. Some of the common reasons due to which there can be nasal obstruction include- allergies, development of nasal polyps, chronic problems in the lungs, and turbinate hypertrophy. Generally, medicines and nasal sprays can shrink these. In some cases where the medicines fail, the person should take into account the option of septoplasty.
5. Treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea
People with a deviated septum has a blocked nose the majority of the day. They breathe either through one nostril or through the mouth, especially while asleep. Hence, this leads to the drying of the mouth and throat. This can cause the person to wake up with a sudden jerk, snort or gasping for air. Obese people suffering from deviated septum are also likely to have loud snoring. This is known as obstructive sleep apnea and may prove to be fatal in some cases.
Reasons For Children To Undergo Septoplasty
Doctors recommend septoplasty to children for a different set of reasons. The following conditions are cured in children with septoplasty;
- Have frequent episodes of nose bleeding
- Suffering from chronic sinusitis
- Frequent headaches or facial pain
- Loud snoring when asleep
Procedure Of Septoplasty
The procedure of septoplasty is a simple one. The septoplasty mainly focuses on straightening the crooked septum either by taking out the extra cartilage or putting some extra.
The first thing the doctor does is make incisions on either one side of the nose to access the septum. After this, the surgeon lifts the mucosal lining that covers the cartilage and bone. Followed by this, the doctor reshapes the deviated septum and also removes extra portions of the cartilage. Barriers such as extra pieces of bone or cartilage are removed. Lastly, the doctor repositions the mucus lining over the septum.
In case the turbinates are enlarged that is causing nasal obstruction, the doctor shrinks them with a special instrument such as microdebrider or radiofrequency reduction. In severe cases, the doctor can completely take out the turbinate.
How To Take Care After Septoplasty?
Surprisingly, taking care of the nose after a septoplasty is far more important than the procedure itself. The simple explanation is that the results of the septoplasty depend primarily on how you take care of the wound. Hence, while at the doctor’s clinic, make sure you have inquired about all the possible questions. In case you are wondering what to ask, check out the following questions;
- How much activity is allowed?
- What kind of activities are permissible?
- How to take care of the incision site to ensure minimum infection?
- How long will there be restrictions on driving?
- What to do in case of nose bleeding?
- What signs should I look out for so that I call the doctor immediately?
- Which medicines to continue during the recovery period and what is the prescribed amount?
Here is a checklist of do’s and don’ts that doctors ask the patient to follow judiciously;
|Take proper rest for the initial 24-48 hours.||Take a shower for the first 24 hours of the surgery.|
|Apply an ice pack to the face or wound to reduce swelling and stuffy nose.||Smoke nor drink alcoholic beverages to slow the healing process.|
|Irrigate the sinuses with saline solution twice a day.||Remove the nasal packing or splint unnecessarily.|
|Avoid going to places where there is dust or excessive smoke.||Strain excessively while passing stools to avoid unnecessary pressure on the face.|
|Put pillows under the head to avoid nose blockage.||Bend or lift heavy weights until the wound heals completely.|
|Eat soft foods such as mashed potatoes, noodles, etc. and then gradually shift to a normal diet.||Blow the nose at all. In case you feel like sneezing, blow through the mouth.|
The incision site made during the procedure heals within a week. The patient can resume daily activities on the second day of the recovery. On the third day of the recovery, the doctor removes the nasal packing. The results won’t be immediate. Once the swelling subsides completely, the patient experiences the complete results. However, in case you experience persistent facial pain, nose bleeding, and nasal drainage, call your ENT doctor immediately.