The nasal septum is the wall dividing the nasal cavity. When the septum is severely shifted to the side, it is called a deviated septum. The septum can be deviated at birth or because of injury. In most cases the septum is deviated somewhat, but usually doesn’t cause symptoms.
Some of the more common symptoms of a deviated septum are a blockage of one or both nostrils, nasal congestion that is sometimes one-sided, frequent nosebleeds or sinus infections. At times symptoms can also include facial pain, headaches and a postnasal drip
Surgery to straighten the septum is called a septoplasty. It is performed entirely through the nostrils. The time needed for the operation is about one to two hours. A local or a general anesthetic is used, and it is usually done on an outpatient basis. Portions of the septum that are badly deviated may be removed entirely, or they may be readjusted and reinserted into the nose. Nasal packing is inserted during the surgery to prevent excessive bleeding after the surgery. Sometimes a septoplasty is done with other procedures.
Will I live longer if I have this procedure?
Scientific evidence does not show that a septoplasty lengthens your life.
Will a septoplasty improve my quality of life?
Yes, scientific evidence indicates that the majority of individuals who have this procedure report a reduction in symptoms and an improvement in their quality of life, related to those symptoms.
Will having a septoplasty improve my symptoms?
Published studies have indicated that of individuals who have a septoplasty, most of them had an improvement in symptoms at three months and six months after surgery. However, it is possible that symptoms may not improve.
Complications related to septoplasty appear to be rare. However, some risk is associated with any surgery, such as swelling, infection, bleeding, or perforation. Rarely, loss of smell occurs following surgery.
A septoplasty is the preferred surgical treatment to correct a deviated septum.
Alternative medical treatments can include:
The cost for septoplasty generally ranges between $15,000 and $20,000.
The cost may or may not be covered by your health benefits plan.
The following are off-site links :
American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS). (2013). Fact sheet: Deviated septum. Retrieved July 8, 2014 from http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/deviatedSeptum.cfm.
American Rhinologic Society. (2011, June). Septoplasty and turbinate surgery. Retrieved July 8, 2014 from http://care.american-rhinologic.org/septoplasty_turbinates.
MedlinePlus. (2013, August). Stuffy or runny nose - adult. Retrieved July 8, 2014 from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003049.htm.
MedlinePlus. (2011, March). Septoplasty. Retrieved July 8, 2014 from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003012.htm.
This document has been classified as public information.