The septum serves as a central partition inside the nose, dividing it into two nearly equal parts. A deviated septum means that the septum, comprised primarily of cartilage and bone, has shifted off the center line of the nasal cavity. This may be congenital, or the result of trauma, such as a sports injury.
A deviated septum is a widespread condition present in many people. Symptoms depend on the severity of the deviation.
Typical deviated septum symptoms can include:
- Difficulty breathing through the nose
- Postnasal drip
Treatment may include medications to manage symptoms, but to correct a deviated septum surgery is necessary. To manage symptoms, Dr. Rejowski may recommend:
- Decongestants to reduce nasal congestion
- Antihistamines to relieve allergy symptoms
- Nasal steroid sprays to reduce inflammation
Septoplasty is the term for the repair a deviated septum. During this surgical procedure, the nasal septum is repositioned back to the center of the nose by shaving, altering placement of, or removing parts of the internal septal bone and cartilage. Because the entire procedure is performed through the nostrils, no bruising or external signs of the surgery are visible. The operation can be done on an outpatient basis and typically takes between 60 and 90 minutes to complete. The surgery is not recommended for children because the septum is still growing.
Post operative correction of nosebleeds or nasal obstruction is anticipated, but allergic nasal or sinus conditions are not able to be cured with surgery.
Large turbinates, radiator-like projections on the inside of the nose, can accompany a deviated septum and can lead to further nasal breathing problems. Dr. Rejowski will work closely with the patient to determine whether resection of the turbinate or somnoplasty surgery is indicated.