Septoplasty (Deviated Septum Repair)
A deviated septum is a nasal condition that can cause difficulty breathing and may increase your risk of frequent sinus infections.1 Septoplasty is a surgery to improve airflow through the nasal passages by straightening the septum. Houston Septoplasty Specialist Dr. Arjuna Kuperan is an expert sinus surgeon, a Board Certified Otolaryngologist (ENT), and a fellowship trained Rhinologist offering minimally invasive septoplasty in Houston and The Woodlands.
WHAT IS A DEVIATED SEPTUM?
The septum is the dividing wall of bone and cartilage between the right and left side of your nose. A deviated septum is when this dividing wall is crooked, causing the nasal passageways to be unequal in size. The septum can be deviated from birth or as a result of trauma to the nose. Symptoms include blocked breathing and chronic sinus infections, and a deviated septum may also contribute to nose bleeds and snoring. Deviated septum is a common condition that may affect up to 80% of people, although not everyone with a deviated septum experiences symptoms.2
DEVIATED SEPTUM SURGERY
At Houston Advanced Nose & Sinus, Dr. Kuperan specializes in endoscopic septoplasty to repair a deviated septum with no visible incisions and minimal downtime. The goal of septoplasty is to improve breathing and nasal function, so it is important to understand that nasal obstruction can be a multifactorial problem that arises from a deviated septum, inferior turbinate hypertrophy, nasal valve collapse, nasal polyps, or some combination of these problems. Dr. Kuperan thoroughly examines each patient to determine the root cause of a deviated septum because he understands that fixing only one problem when there are many will not significantly improve nasal breathing. You can count on Dr. Kuperan for comprehensive, personalized care.
ASSESS YOUR SINUS PROBLEMS
HOW DOES SEPTOPLASTY WORK?
During your septoplasty procedure, Dr. Kuperan will use specialized surgical instruments to straighten your septum and reshape your nasal passages in order to alleviate breathing problems and other symptoms. Although some symptoms can be treated with other, temporary measures, a septoplasty is the only way to actually correct a deviated septum.3 While septoplasty does not change the appearance of the nose, Dr. Kuperan also offers functional rhinoplasty to correct a deviated septum while also reshaping the nose to meet a patient’s cosmetic goals.
PREPARING FOR SEPTOPLASTY
If you suspect you have a deviated septum, the first step is a consultation appointment with Dr. Kuperan in Houston or The Woodlands. Your consultation is your opportunity to ask any questions and learn more about your treatment options. Dr. Kuperan will examine your nasal passages and discuss your symptoms and medical history. If it is determined that septoplasty is right for you, he will give you detailed pre-surgical instructions.
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING SEPTOPLASTY
Septoplasty is typically an outpatient procedure performed under general anesthesia. Dr. Kuperan will begin by carefully lifting the membrane that covers the septum. All incisions are made inside the nostrils, so you will have no visible cuts or scars. He will then adjust the nasal structures in order to straighten your septum before replacing and suturing the membrane.
You will need to plan to have a friend or family member drive you home after your procedure. It is normal to experience some swelling and mild discomfort for a day or two after surgery. You will be scheduled for follow up appointments. Patients typically return to work or school after several days. You will need to refrain from strenuous activity for several weeks.
AM I A CANDIDATE FOR SEPTOPLASTY?
If you have previously been diagnosed with a deviated septum, or if you experience symptoms such as chronic nasal congestion, then a septoplasty may be right for you. It is important to have a consultation appointment with an experienced Rhinologist in order to determine if you are a candidate and to get the best treatment plan for you.
FAQs About Septoplasty
Why is septoplasty performed?
Septoplasty is performed to relieve symptoms such as difficulty breathing through the nose, frequent nosebleeds, snoring, and chronic sinus infections caused by a deviated septum.4
Is septoplasty a painful procedure?
Most people experience some discomfort and swelling after the procedure, but this can be managed with pain medication and by following Dr. Kuperan’s post-operative instructions.
How long does it take to recover from septoplasty?
Recovery time varies, but most people can return to work or school within a week after the procedure. It can take several weeks or months for swelling to completely subside and for breathing to improve fully.
Are there any risks or complications associated with septoplasty?
Like any surgery, septoplasty carries some risks, such as bleeding, infection, or an adverse reaction to anesthesia. Other potential complications include nasal dryness, scarring, and a change in the shape of the nose.5 Dr. Kuperan will discuss the risks and benefits of the procedure with you before you decide to undergo surgery.
Can septoplasty be combined with other procedures?
Yes, septoplasty can be combined with other procedures such as rhinoplasty (nose reshaping) or sinus surgery.
Will septoplasty improve my sense of smell?
Septoplasty is primarily performed to improve nasal breathing, but it may also improve your sense of smell if your ability to smell was impaired due to a deviated septum.6
Does insurance cover septoplasty?
Insurance coverage for septoplasty varies depending on your individual policy and the severity of the deviated septum. It is best to check with your insurance provider to determine if the procedure is covered.
1 Mayo Clinic. Septoplasty. Available: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/septoplasty/about/pac-20384670 Accessed April 8, 2020.
2 American Academy of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery Foundation. Deviated Septum. Available: https://www.enthealth.org/conditions/deviated-septum/ Accessed April 8, 2020.
3 Cleveland Clinic. Septoplasty. Available: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/17779-septoplasty Accessed April 8, 2020.
4 Cleveland Clinic. Septoplasty. Available: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/17779-septoplasty. Accessed March 7, 2023.
5 Mayo Clinic. Septoplasty. Available: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/septoplasty/about/pac-20384670#. Accessed March 7, 2023.
6 Turk Arch Otorhinolaryngol. Effect of Septorhinoplasty on Olfactory Function: Assessment Using the Brief Smell Identification Test. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5791808/. Accessed March 7, 2023.
Dr. Arjuna Kuerpan has either authored or reviewed and approved this content.