A deviated nasal septum causes blockage of the nose and difficulty breathing on one or both sides. In some cases the condition may contribute to snoring or interfere with sleep. Surgery to repair a deviated septum is called septoplasty.
The nasal septum is made up of bone and cartilage that divide the nasal cavity in half. If your septum is significantly crooked (deviated), it can make breathing difficult on one side or both. A deviated septum may be present at birth, but often results from trauma to the nose. The first step to diagnosing a deviated septum is a thorough examination which may include an endoscope.
If you have tried other sinus treatments, and think you might need septoplasty, request a consultation at our Anchorage, Alaska practice to meet with one of our board-certified physicians. You can also call our office at (907) 279-8800 to schedule an appointment. For our Homer and surrounding patients, please call (907) 235-0310.
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Septoplasty is performed under general anesthesia and usually takes about an hour to complete. During the surgery, which is often aided by an endoscope, any cartilage or bone that is blocking your nasal passage is removed. If you are also concerned about the appearance of your nose, cosmetic rhinoplasty can be performed at the same time as septoplasty.
Some patients' breathing is obstructed by enlarged nasal tissues called interior turbinates. Interior turbinate reduction is a simple surgical procedure that can be performed alone or with septoplasty to improve breathing through the nose.
Patients return home the day of surgery. Incisions inside the nose are closed with dissolvable stitches and nasal splints are placed on each side to help with healing. Pain relief medication is prescribed, although it may not be needed. Post-surgical swelling may make it difficult to breathe through the nose for a few days to a week.