The nose is a very fragile and delicate organ of our body. Not only does it help define the facial expressions also its functional value cannot be ignored at any level. Can you imagine your face without the nose? Various functions of the nose include breathing, smelling and filtering the unwanted particles and germs from entering our body. One of the important parts of the nose is the nasal septum.
The nasal septum what divides the nose in two equal parts. The septum supports the nose and performs the function of directing the airflow. The septum is made up of a thin bone and cartilage. Very few people have a perfectly straight septum, but a slight deviation in the septum is acceptable. However, when crookedness and deviation of the septum starts causing problems in breathing, it needs to be looked into. Cooked septum can cause problems like snoring and sleep apnea. Other problems associated with deviated septum are bleeding and facial pain.
A deviated septum can be caused because of congenital problem, or an injury to the nose. The only way to correct a deviated septum is through a process called the Septoplasty. Septoplasty is different from Rhinoplasty and is sometimes used in conjunction with the same to correct the appearance of the nose. Septoplasty does not change the shape of the nose. The cartilage of the septum is very elastic and has an ability to absorb a large amount of force and therefore does not injure easily. However, sometimes septoplasty becomes necessary when the injury to the septum is of great force, causing it damage.
What happens before during and after Septoplasty Surgery?
- The first step is the consultation of with a septoplasty surgeon. Initial assessment will be done to determine the damage to the septum and how it can be restored to its natural state.
- You must tell the surgeons exactly what the problem is and if you have any other medical conditions like allergies, recent nasal trauma, previous nose jobs and other medications that you have been taking. The surgeon will use an endoscope to check the shape of the passage and determine the changes that have to be made.
- If you are on drugs, or if you smoke or intake more than normal alcohol then let the surgeon know.
- Also discuss in detail about the expected results, the recovery time and precautions post the septoplasty surgery.
The procedure of Septoplasty is quite simple. The incisions are made from inside the nostrils which will separate the nasal mucosa from the underlying cartilage and tissue. The cartilage is then repaired to straighten it out. Extra bone is also removed if necessary. The mucosa is then repositioned over the septum with the help of stiches. Septoplasty takes from anywhere between thirty to ninety minutes to complete.
Since it is elastic structure sometimes small plastic tubes and splints are placed in the nose to help speed up the healing process.
Post Septoplasty Surgery
Since the surgery is done from the insides of the nose you have to take some special precautions post septoplasty surgery. These include regularly taking the pain and other medications the surgeon prescribes in order to avoid infection. Avoid picking your nose and try to keep the airway as clean as possible. The risk period of septoplasty is for up to two weeks. Try not to blow or sneeze too hard and also avoid doing anything that might cause any trauma to the nose.
You will also be required to sleep with your head elevated to prevent bleeding. Septum heals slowly and therefore you have to be patient, to enjoy the best results. Simple precautions like wearing buttoned up clothes, so that you don’t have to pull your clothes over your face, will also help a lot.