The septum is made of cartilage and bone. The cartilage and bone of the nasal septum are lined by a thin membrane called mucosa. This membrane acts like a layer of skin for the inside of the nose. The mucosa covers and protects the cartilage and bone. It also helps to keep the inside of the nose moist. A bent or crooked septum is called a deviated nasal septum.
When the septum is deviated, one or both sides of the nose can become blocked. In this case, surgery can help correct the deviation and improve airflow. Surgery to correct a deviated nasal septum is called a septoplasty. Septoplasty is most commonly performed to help relieve nasal obstruction. Sometimes, septoplasty is a necessary part of other surgical procedures.
The septoplasty procedure requires a reconstruction of the cartilage and bone on the inside of the nose. In some cases a reconstruction of the outside of the nose (a rhinoplasty) may also be of benefit.
During a septoplasty, an attempt is made to straighten the cartilage and bone. First the lining is lifted off to allow the cartilage and bone to be reshaped. Parts of the cartilage and bone may in some cases also need to be removed. The lining (mucosa) is then put back in place.
The septoplasty procedure is usually performed under general anaesthesia.
After surgery you can expect mild pain and some nasal drainage. You will also have a stuffy nose as a result of swelling after surgery. This usually improves after a week. There may also be some mucus and blood drainage post surgery, which is a normal part of the healing process.
In my experience, some of my most gratified patients are those in whom nasal function has been restored, particularly in those who have required both septoplasty and functional septorhinoplasty surgery.
If you have any questions about nasal surgery please contact us.