Made of cartilage and bone, the septum is the partition that divides the interior nasal cavities from the left and right. This internal structure can lean or fall to one side or the other and cause obstructions. These obstructions can then lead to snoring, lack of sleep, and breathing issues. A problem with nasal passageways can be diagnosed by a CT scan or X-Ray. An evaluation of these diagnostic results will let the plastic surgeon know the extent of the problem and will help with formulating an effective treatment approach.
The actual surgical procedure to correct a deviated septum is called a septoplasty. A septoplasty is the most common type of nasal surgery and may even be combined with a rhinoplasty to help enhance the nose’s final appearance. During a septoplasty, the plastic surgeon will straighten out and reform interior nasal structures, such as the turbinates. Inferior turbinates are additional structures within the nasal passage that most often lead to blockages. Because bone, cartilage, and tissue have “shape memory” they will naturally want to return to their previous, crooked forms. The surgeon will likely strengthen the turbinates and septum in order to reduce the risk of regression into malformation.
The deviated septum is a common problem that affects millions of Americans. If you are suffering from breathing problems or excessive snoring, a septoplasty might just be the procedure for you!