Nasal septum surgery or septoplasty consists of straightening of the nasal septum that for some reason has been diverted occluding one of the nostrils.
The nasal septum is a vertical sheet that divides both nostrils, from the nasal apertures to the most posterior part of the fossae. For this reason, septoplasty is performed in patients who present with a nasal respiratory difficulty due to a deviation of the septum.
Deviation of the nasal septum is not the only cause of bad breath through the nose, so other possible diagnoses could be the existence of vegetations or mucosal congestion , which cause allergies and turbinate hypertrophy.
The causes of the deviation of the septum are several, but the most frequent are the deviations that occur after the trauma and those that occur during the nasal development, ie, that the septum deviates by itself during the growth.
Deviations from the septum may not be seen externally, ie, the septum may be deviated but the nasal pyramid is centered. Likewise, there are patients who have externally deviated nose and right septum, although this is less common. Therefore, the nasal dorsum does not reveal whether the nasal septum is deviated or not.
How do we know if the nasal septum is deviated?
Any patient who breathes badly through the nose can go to his Otorhinolaryngologist to perform the exploration of the graves. Generally, it is performed with a camera coupled to a fibroscope. This explores the entire depth of the nostrils determining if the step is narrower and what causes that narrowness. If the culprit is the septum could undergo a septoplasty.
What is a septoplasty?
It is an intervention that is performed under general anesthesia. An incision is made in the mucosa of the septum and the mucous walls that cover it are detached in both graves. The nasal septum is composed inferiorly by bone and superiorly by cartilage. Deviated bone fragments are usually removed and the cartilaginous fragments are removed and repositioned in a centered position. Subsequently, the surgical wound is sutured. Usually the surgery usually lasts between 30 minutes and an hour, although the cases originated by a trauma are usually more complex.
Those patients who also perceive an aesthetic nasal deformity will benefit from septorhinoplasty, which improves nasal function and esthetics.
What type of patient is suitable for undergoing this surgery?
Those who breathe badly through the nose and the deviated septum is the cause of the problem. Usually during exploration, other associated problems can be seen, such as turbinate hypertrophy. Thus it is rare to perform a septoplasty without doing some kind of turbinate reduction surgery that would increase the benefit on nasal breathing.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a septoplasty?
The clear advantage is the improvement of the nasal ventilation, which is the most physiological and beneficial for our organism. The air that enters through the nose is the one that acquires a degree of temperature and humidity optimum to obtain a good oxygenation of the organism. In addition there may be other added problems such as snoring and apneas that can also benefit from improved nasal breathing.
On the other hand, the biggest drawback of the intervention is having to undergo surgery that although not too annoying always forces us to interrupt for a few days our normal activity. Although recovery is rapid and the patient can return to normal life in a few days.
What to do after nasal septoplasty?
The most important are the postsurgical care and cleaning of the pit and surgical wound. The cleaning of the pits is usually done with seawater sprays, and in the case of the points that remain inside the nose should be cleaned with swabs soaked in oxygenated water and antibiotic ointment. It is usually done because of the risk that the wound can be infected, which, when kept inside the nose, always accumulates some mucus and scabs. After a few days the benefits of surgery should be noted.