Many of my patients at the Los Angeles Sinus Institute would describe the basic idea behind deviated septum surgery, also known as septoplasty, thusly: You take the midline between the nostrils, known as the nasal septum, and you move it to the middle.
But how does that work, and how do you ensure that the tissues heal cleanly, with an open airway available on both sides? The Washington Post recently tackled this question in somewhat more detail. Money quote:
During septoplasty, an outpatient operation, the surgeon will remove or reshape badly deviated portions of cartilage and bone. Afterward, a nasal splint or packing may be inserted into the nose for support and to prevent major bleeding. Risks, though minimal, include excessive bleeding, infection, tearing of the septum and loss of smell. Surgery is successful in nearly 90 percent of patients, according to Crumley.
The key is to keep the septum in place, and to ensure that the healing goes smoothly enough that scar tissue doesn’t form to create a new problem. Splinting, packing, and the occasional use of corticosteroids may all be combined to help your nose recover quickly and safely, with benefits that last for a lifetime.
For more on deviated septum surgery, click here.