Septoplasty is a procedure used to correct a deviated septum in the nose. This deviation can cause breathing difficulties, and even something known as sleep apnea which, at its worst, may lead to low blood oxygen levels contributing to an increased chance of stroke. According to the Mayo Clinic, there is a long list of potential complications related to sleep apnea ranging from liver problems and lack of energy, to decreased libido.
While septoplasty may not be the only solution to obstructive sleep apnea, it can provide significant relief in many cases. In fact, since sleep apnea is considered a serious medical condition, insurance may well cover the surgery.
What is Septoplasty?
Your septum is the bit of cartilage and thin bone that separates your two nostrils and provides support to the nose as well as directing air flow. The deviation may be present at birth or may result from accident or injury. In truth, there are very few people with a perfectly straight septum. Most of the time that doesn’t matter, but if the deviation is restricting airflow it can cause snoring and difficulty breathing, and needs to be re-shaped.
The procedure is relatively straightforward: the surgeon enters the nose through the nostrils, straightens the septum, often by removing or cutting away parts of the septum, and repositions it in the center of the nose. After surgery and while the nose heals, you may need to wear a splint.
Septoplasty vs. Rhinoplasty: Are They The Same?
Despite what celebrities may have you believe, rhinoplasty and septoplasty are not the same. In fact, beyond a straighter nose, there is very little outward change to the shape of the nose with septoplasty. Anyone who has had a functional septoplasty and comes away with a cute button nose where there was once a bulbous tip has had a bit more work done.
In fact, combining rhinoplasty (the aesthetic surgery) with septoplasty (the functional surgery) is very common. Many septoplasty patients take the opportunity to improve the aesthetics of the nose at the same time. This allows patients to undergo anesthesia just once and have a single recovery period.
Dr. Naderi is skilled at all aspects of nasal reconstruction and cosmetic surgery, and will work with you to create a nose that functions as beautifully as it looks.
What Are the Factors that Affect Septoplasty Recovery Time?
Recovery time is measured in weeks – usually less than six – unless septoplasty is combined with other procedures which may extend the recovery time slightly. However, there are a number of factors which will affect the length of time required for recovery. Top of the list will be smoking. This can interfere with blood flow and slow down the healing process, as well as run the risk of infecting the wound. In short, it’s the perfect time to quit!
The frequency of changing the dressings may well affect recovery time, as will general care such as saline irrigation, and correct application of any additional creams and taking medication as required by the surgeon. To best ensure optimal results, follow all pre- and post-operative instructions provided by your surgeon.
Can I See Some Septoplasty Before and After Photos?
nlike a rhinoplasty (i.e. a nose job), there’s not a whole lot of visual impact associated with a septoplasty. In fact, since most, if not all, of the surgery is done inside the nose, there’s often no outward change at all. But, given that this is an opportunity to also review the shape, size, and straightness of the nose, Dr. Naderi invites you to look through the rhinoplasty galleries to see what kind of results can be obtained. In many cases, all it takes is a small tweak to achieve near perfection!
To learn more about rhinoplasty, revision rhinoplasty and plastic surgery, as well as non-invasive procedures such as fillers, please contact the Naderi Center at 703-481-0002 in Virginia or 301-222-2020 in Maryland for a consultation today.