How Can Septoplasty Help Me Breathe Better?

Do you have trouble breathing through your nose, have nosebleeds, or pain in your face?  It could be caused by a deviated nasal septum. This is when the bone and cartilage that separates your nostrils is out of alignment causing an obstruction.

Septoplasty is a type of deviated septum surgery that corrects the alignment of the nasal passages. This allows for proper airflow through the nose. It is performed using either local or general anesthesia.

A deviated septum is not always the result of trauma, but can be congenital or present at birth.

The Deviated Septum

A deviated nasal septum can be caused as a result of injury or be that way since birth. This can cause nasal obstruction leading to breathing problems like, chronic sinusitis and congestion, as well as excessive snoring and sleep apnea. The surgery, by realigning the septum, can offer the patient not only better sleep, but greater breathing capacity overall.

The Procedure

If a septoplasty is deemed the procedure to correct your symptoms during the initial consultation, a surgery date will be set.  On the date of the procedure, depending on the complexity local or general sedation will be administered. 

The surgeon then will make an incision on one side of the inside of your nostril.  This will reveal the bone and cartilage of the septum.  The surgeon then will realign the septum and remove any barriers preventing proper alignment. The incision will then be closed.

A septoplasty can sometimes be combined with a rhinoplasty if other structural changes need to be made to the nose, whether for better breathing or cosmetic purposes. In other cases, nasal polyps can be removed during for following the surgery.

Post-Op Recovery

Your breathing should improve shortly after the procedure has been completed. The nose itself heals very slowly due to the nature of bone and cartilage. As with rhinoplasty and other nasal procedures, the nose may keep refining over an entire year following a septoplasty.

You should also avoid blowing your nose intensely or using over-the-counter medication which thins the blood during septoplasty recovery. For more information on post-op recovery see our post-operative recovery instructions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long does a the procedure take?

The septoplasty procedure itself generally takes between 30 to 90 minutes depending on the severity of the deviation and the cause.  For instance, if extensive barriers need to be removed, it may cause the procedure to go longer.  Allow for extra time for the pre-op preparation and post-op recovery after septoplasty surgery.

Do I need a person to come with me?

Due to the use of anesthesia, it is recommended that you have arrangements made to get you home following your septoplasty.

Will my nose still look the same?

Septoplasty surgery aligns the inner cartilage and bone to allow for proper airflow in order to correct nasal airway obstruction and will typically not affect the outer appearance of the nose.  A rhinoplasty can be done at the same time as a septoplasty to provide cosmetic adjustments to the contour of the nose.

If you suffer from chronic nasal congestion, it could be the result of a deviated septum.

Dr. Daniel Barker is a board certified Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist (ENT) and cosmetic surgeon.

Dr. Barker performs septoplasty and rhinoplasty procedures to relieve nasal obstructions, including a deviated septum. Dr Barker will work with you to determine the best procedures for treating your nasal obstruction and answer any questions you may have.