DEVIATED SEPTUM AND SEPTOPLASTY
Although a deviated septum is a condition affecting millions of people across the US, it can be treated to provide permanent relief to those that suffer from it. A septoplasty is a surgical procedure to straighten a deviated septum, ridding the patient of symptoms such as nosebleeds, nasal congestion, facial pain and more.
WHAT IS A DEVIATED SEPTUM?
The septum is the piece of cartilage and bone that separates the two nostrils in the nose. When the septum is straight, it allows air to pass through the nostrils smoothly. However, when the septum becomes deviated (or crooked) it results in difficulty breathing through the nose as well as a number of other issues, that may include:
- Facial pain
- Sleep apnea
- Postnasal drip
- Sinus pressure
- Difficult breathing
Depending on the degree of deviation in the septum, each of these symptoms can be mild or severe. A septoplasty can restructure the septum, creating unrestricted balanced airflow in the nose.
WHAT CAUSES A DEVIATED SEPTUM?
The septum can be easily injured through physical contact, sports activities, falls or minor accidents. Unless the injury was severe, a deviated septum can remain un-diagnosed until breathing difficulties become pronounced. In some cases, this condition is present at birth either from the stress of childbirth or prenatal injury.
SEPTOPLASTY PROCEDURE IN ALBUQUERQUE, NM
A septoplasty is a surgical procedure to reposition the bone and cartilage in the septum. Using small incisions placed inside the nose, there is no visible scarring left after the procedure.
The procedure may be done using local or general anesthesia depending on many different factors, one of which is your personal preference. After a thorough consultation and examination, your doctor will listen to your needs and incorporate them into your specific treatment to achieve the best result possible.
During your deviated septum surgery, the bone and cartilage in the nose are carefully re-positioned which can require removing some bone to make room for rearrangement. He will take all the time necessary to ensure your septum is completely straight so air can flow equally through both nostrils. Once completed, your doctor will use nasal splints to keep the septum in place while it heals.
A septoplasty is usually performed within a few hours. Being an outpatient procedure, most patients can go home the same day. However, due to the use of anesthesia, a patient must arrange for a ride home as you will not be allowed to drive for the first 24 hours after the procedure.
It is important to follow any written instructions provided by your doctor to ensure a complete and uncomplicated recovery. Following instructions carefully will ensure your unrestricted breathing results are exactly what you were hoping for. It is necessary to keep your head elevated using several pillows and to avoid lying flat and take only the medication that has been prescribed for you. Please call either office if you have any questions concerning medication.
There will be a bandage under the nose to collect blood and fluid, which will drain for about a week. The bandages will need to be changed frequently over the first 24 hours.
Nasal congestion will be present for a few weeks as the nasal passage heal. Do not blow your nose during the first week and avoid the urge to clean the inside of the nose, as this will disturb the healing process. You can clean the outside of your nose gently.
Avoid taking any pain medication such as aspirin or Motrin, which are NSAIDs. Also, avoid drinking alcohol as these will increase bleeding which can cause complications with healing.
For any questions, call Dr. Gerencer at (505) 883-2574.