A septoplasty is nose surgery that improves breathing function. Its purpose is to correct conditions in which the septum—the membrane of bone and cartilage that separates the two sides of the nose—is crooked. This is known as a deviated septum, because its position varies from the central midline, and it is considered a medical condition, because the septum can block one or both nostrils and interfere with breathing.
A deviated septum is often a reason someone snores. It may also cause facial pain or frequent nosebleeds or lead to chronic sinusitis.
Our surgeons here at Arizona Aesthetic Associates deliver amazing results for patients needing septoplasty in Phoenix, Scottsdale and Gilbert, AZ.
A septoplasty is typically performed on an outpatient basis. A septoplasty in Scottsdale can take an hour to ninety minutes to complete.
One of two types of incisions may be necessary to correct the septum:
If the deviation is not too severe, the incision is typically made within the nasal cavity, on one side of the nose.
For more severe conditions, the incision may be made across the tissue that separates the nostrils, called the columella.
Whichever incision is made, the remaining steps of the procedure are as follows:
The mucous membrane that covers the septum and protects it is lifted.
The deviated septum is repositioned to run along the midline of the nose.
If there are any extra pieces of bone or cartilage, they are removed.
The mucous membrane is repositioned so that it covers the septum.
Depending on how much repositioning was required, stitches or splints may be needed to hold the corrected structure in place during healing. In less severe conditions, intra-nasal splints placed within the nose may be adequate.
A septoplasty is neither an elective nor cosmetic procedure; it is a corrective medical procedure to enable someone to breathe freely. Any person with a deviated septum is a candidate.
Some patients want to undergo nose reshaping along with repairing a deviated septum, with the added advantage that part of the procedure is typically paid through health insurance. Strictly cosmetic procedures, such as rhinoplasty, are not covered by insurance.
Once the anesthesia has worn off, you will be able to return home. Your surgeon will prescribe medication to minimize the swelling and keep you comfortable while healing. The intra-nasal splints are typically removed within the first week after the surgery.
When you come in for your septoplasty in Phoenix, you will be given detailed instructions on after-care, but the following general recommendations should be adhered to, to aid in the recovery process:
Keep your head elevated above your heart, even when sleeping. This will help keep the swelling down.
Do not blow your nose for at least three days after the surgery. The surgery site is quite fragile during this period, and you do not want to disrupt it.
It is better to wear tops or shirts that button down the front, so you are not pulling them over your head. No matter how careful you may be, it is easy to bump your nose with your hands or tug on it with the neckline.
While you will probably be aware of the improvement in your breathing within a week or two, the complete healing of the tissues can take up to a year.
The board-certified plastic surgeons at Arizona Aesthetic Associates are expertly trained to perform not only septoplasty surgery but also a variety of other options to help with breathing issues, sleep apnea, or snoring.
*Dr. LaBarbera is a board eligible plastic surgeon at Arizona Aesthetic Associates.
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