Septoplasty is performed to open up the nasal passages that are blocked by a deviated or bent septum and this may improve breathing. The septum supports the nose; it regulates air flow and supports the mucosa or mucous membranes of the nose. Nasal septoplasty may be performed in conjunction with other surgical procedures such as endoscopic sinus surgery, rhinoplasty or turbinectomy.
A deviated or bent septum generally presents as a blocked nose and Dr Shahidi will perform a nasal examination that includes a nasal endoscopy to identify the problem. If sinusitis is suspected Dr Shahidi will ask for a CT scan and this will help with the overall diagnosis.
The septoplasty is performed under general anaesthesia and may be done either as a day surgery procedure or with an overnight hospital stay. The septoplasty procedure takes approximately 1-2 hours but this will depend on the severity of the deviated or bent septum. The incision is generally performed in one of the nostrils and therefore the scar is not visible. Dissolving stitches are used and the nostrils may be packed or internal splints may be used. Nasal septoplasty is reconstructive surgery where bone and cartilage are re-shaped, so the healing process may take 2-4 weeks to complete. A post-op advice sheet is given to patients and pain may generally be controlled with analgesics. A follow-up visit will be arranged within 7-10 days post-surgery with a final check up after 3 months.