The structure of the nose is made up of internal and external anatomy that create an important focal point of the face as well as perform vital functions like creating a clear pathway for air. The internal wall that divides the two nasal passages is known as the nasal septum. For some, whether due to injury or birth defect, the septum is off center and can create issues. This condition is known as a deviated septum as the structure strays from its ideal placement.
Deviated septum can cause no issues, but for some they lead to breathing troubles, recurrent sinus infections, or nose bleeds. Patients with deviated septum often report having trouble sleeping, having frequently blocked nasal passages, experiencing dry mouth, or facial pain. They may find they notice their nasal breathing cycles and many report they are very noisy breathers.
If issues with a deviated septum cannot be more conservatively managed, surgery may be a good option for correcting problems with your nose. For some patients, insurance coverage may be available for corrective surgery. This will require detailed documentation from your medical record to support coverage. It is important to note, performing surgery for a functional defect may cause some alteration to the look of the nose, however, this is not the primary goal of surgery for a deviated septum. If you wish to also address the look of your nose by altering the size or shape, this portion of your surgery will be considered cosmetic.
BENEFITS OF SURGERY
- Correct functional issues
- Decrease pain
- Improve ability to breath freely
- Alter the shape or size of the nose
- Balance facial features
WHAT TO EXPECT
Once the decision is made to move forward with surgery, we will schedule a pre-procedure visit and select your surgery date on our calendar. A septorhinoplasty is performed under general anesthesia, so you will be put to sleep for the operation. This surgery typically requires about two to three hours to complete but can vary based on the complexity of the case. You will have a small scar which extends from one nasal opening to the other. Most patients find the benefits of surgery outweigh the scar. You will go home the same day as surgery to rest and recover. You will keep a splint on your nose for 1-2 weeks to protect and support your nose as it heals. If you have nasal packing placed, this is typically removed 2-3 days after surgery and stiches will be removed 1 week after surgery. To aid in your healing, we recommend you plan for extra help around the house for the days following your procedure as you adjust and recover. Recovery for each patient varies and depends on your lifestyle.
YOUR CONSULTATION FOR SEPTORHINOPLASTY
If you have a deviated septum, or suspect you may have a structural issue of the nose, we welcome you to meet with Dr. Szymanski for a consultation. Considering all of the information, including your health history and a physical exam will help determine if a septorhinoplasty may be the right procedure for you. Dr. Szymanski will work with you to review your goals and desired results. With all procedures, it is important that you understand and have realistic expectations for the procedure before moving forward. Deciding if a plastic surgery procedure is the right choice for you is your individual decision. Our goal is for you to feel comfortable and confident throughout the entire process before and after surgery. We recommend you write down any questions you have and bring your list with you to your consultation. It can also be helpful to have a companion with you who is supportive and a good listener for your visits. Some patients will have many questions come up after their consultation. We always welcome you to schedule a second appointment to address your questions with Dr. Szymanski to address your concerns and ensure you feel well informed and prepared.