A septoplasty is most commonly performed to correct deviated portions of the nasal septal cartilage or bone which may be blocking your airway. Septoplasty can also serve to correct any deformities which are affecting the external shape of your nose. A septoplasty can be a stand-alone surgery or performed at the same time as rhinoplasty. While the term “septo-rhinoplasty” is often used to describe this combined surgery, Dr. Sharma’s rhinoplasties almost always include septoplasty.
A septoplasty can consist of a variety of techniques and maneuvers to address deformities in the septum. Common surgical techniques Dr. Sharma uses include:
(1) Correction of any deviated portions of septal cartilage and/or bone.
(2) Trimming any excess septal cartilage which may be affecting the length of your nose or the rotation of your tip.
(3) Repositioning the front of the septum so it is aligned exactly midline.
(4) Removal of a piece of cartilage from your septum. This graft is used to create smaller, meticulously designed grafts to reshape and reconstruct your nose.
WHAT CAUSES NASAL OBSTRUCTION?
The causes of nasal obstruction can be divided in two major categories: anatomic factors and medical factors.
ANATOMIC FACTORS are inherent to the shape and structure of your external nose, septum, nasal cartilage and turbinates. The septum is an anatomic structure that runs the full length of your nose and divides your nose down the middle. It consists of cartilage in the front, and bone in the back. It attaches to the nasal cartilage and nasal bones in the front, and to the base of the skull in the back. No person is born with a perfectly straight septum. Many people have mild septal deviations which do not interfere with their breathing and go unnoticed throughout their lifetime. Meanwhile, many people have inherent or acquired septal deviations which block one side or both sides of their nose. Acquired septal deviations are most commonly caused by nasal trauma. The degree of deviation affects the severity of nasal obstruction.
Additional anatomic factors which can contribute to nasal airway obstruction include narrow nasal valves, weak cartilaginous support for the nose, enlarged turbinates , nasal polyps and enlarged adenoids. These issues can be diagnosed at the time of your physical examination and potentially treated at the same time as your septoplasty or rhinoplasty.
MEDICAL FACTORS which cause nasal obstruction relate to anything which irritates or inflames the nasal tissue. This include the common cold and flu, chronic allergies , sinus infections, medications (e.g. high blood pressure and erectile dysfunction medications), dry air, alcohol and tobacco. Rhinitis, or inflammation inside the nose, can be caused by allergies to environmental triggers or by non-allergic causes. Common treatments for chronic rhinitis include nasal steroid sprays and antihistamine sprays. Patients with allergic rhinitis often undergo allergy testing with a specialist to identify specific allergens and develop a focused treatment plan.