Septoplasty | Septoplasty Surgery | Septoplasty Complications


Septoplasty surgery is a surgery that corrects any defects or deformities of the nasal septum, which is the wall between the two nostrils.

The purpose of the septoplasty surgery is to straighten out the nasal septum or to relieve obstructions or other problems related to deviation of the septum.

The nasal septum is made of cartilage and bone covered with a lining (mucosa). The nasal septum is the partition that divides one side of the nose from the other. Normally, the septum is relatively straight, with right and left nasal cavities of similar size.

Occasionally, the nasal septum may be severely crooked, or deviated – enough to intrude on a nasal cavity. A deviated nasal septum may develop as the nose grows, or could result from an injury to the nose. Common complications are breathing interference and a predisposition to sinus infections.

When the septum is so bent or deviated that it blocks the nasal passage, then a surgical operation called a septoplasty surgery may restore clear breathing.

If your nose is filled on one side during part of the day and later filled on the other side, then it is not just the septum that is causing the nasal obstruction. In this instance, an abnormal turbinate, a structure that projects from the lateral wall of the nose into the nasal cavity may be the cause.

Turbinate Reduction

Usually medical treatment (such as a nasal steroid spray) is suggested before considering surgery. If the medical treatments fail to bring relief, then your doctor may also suggest a procedure known as a turbinate reduction.

A septoplasty may be combined with a turbinate reduction so the normal nasal airway can be restored.

The surgery can take place under general anesthesia. Using a headlight or an endoscope, the surgeon makes a cut inside the nose, lifts up the lining of the septum, and removes and straightens the deviated portions of the septal bone and cartilage.

Reasons For Having Septoplasty Surgery

The main conditions that call for nasal surgery are:

  • Septal spur headache
  • Nasal airway obstruction
  • Uncontrollable nose bleeding
  • Nasal septal abnormality in the presence of other intranasal surgery

Septoplasty Complications

  • It is possible that your airway will not improve.
  • Some inflammation of the external nose or change in the external appearance is possible.
  • Bleeding of any significant amount is usual. Patients, who are undergoing nasal surgery, should discontinue aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Lack of sensation at the tip of the nose or the upper front teeth is not uncommon and usually resolves within several months following the procedure.
  • Infection is rare but can occur. If nasal packing has been used and the patient develops a rash and a high fever, then the patient must immediately contact his or her physician because of the possibility of toxic shock syndrome. This is very uncommon complication.
  • A septal perforation (hole in the septum that connects the two sides of the nose) may occur. A septal perforation may be associated with a whistling sound, bleeding, and/or crusting. A severe septal perforation may modify the shape of the external nose. Septal perforations are unusual complications of septal surgery.
  • Loss of smell has been reported following septoplasty but is quite uncommon.


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