What is septoplasty?

The nasal septum is the cartilage and bone that divides the nasal cavity into two parts. When the nasal septum is misaligned, it creates an imbalance in the size of the nasal passages. This size difference can cause unwanted symptoms such as nasal congestion, difficulty breathing, nosebleeds, postnasal drip, headaches, facial pain, recurrent sinus infections, snoring, and even sleep apnea. This condition is known as a deviated septum. While some people are born with this condition, a deviated septum can also develop as the result of an injury to the nose. 

Living with a deviated septum can negatively impact the quality of your life. Thankfully, there is a surgery, known as septoplasty, that can correct this condition. Septoplasty is a surgical procedure that straightens the septum of the nose to allow for improved airflow through the nasal passages. Septoplasty can also be used to treat other obstructions of the nasal passages that cause breathing difficulties, including nasal polyps, recurrent sinusitis, and enlarged turbinates (small bony structures inside the nose). Depending on the individual, septoplasty can be combined with other surgical procedures, such as rhinoplasty (called septorhinoplasty) or sinus surgery.

Septoplasty is one of the most common surgical procedures used to correct ear, nose, and throat (ENT) conditions in the United States.

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Types of septoplasty

 

There are 3 main types of septoplasty procedures:

 

Nasal septoplasty

 

This procedure is to correct a deviated septum of the nose. A nasal septoplasty improves the breathing of the patient.

 

Turbinate reduction

 

This procedure involves reducing the internal filtering part of the nose known as a turbinate. Reducing the size of the turbinate allows for better airflow through the nose.

 

Nasal polyp removal

 

It is a relatively simple surgery that involves removing any polyps that may be obstructing the airway. Although there are chances that the nasal polyp may reoccur,  with an expert surgeon like Dr. Kallman, the chances of that happening are extremely less.

 

 

Septoplasty procedure

Dr. Kallman will correctly align any bend in the cartilage or bone during the septoplasty procedure. When the bent septum is correctly positioned, it will ultimately improve breathing and resolve any other associated symptoms as well. 

The surgery generally takes 30-90min to be completed. The time for the surgery will depend on the complexity of the deviation. The patient will be put under local or general anesthesia, which will be discussed before the surgery during the initial consultation with Dr. Kallman.

Dr. Kallman will begin by making an incision on either side of the nose. Then, the protective covering of the septum, known as the mucous membrane, will be lifted to allow the doctor better access and visuals. Once the membrane has been lifted, he will then position the deviated septum into its correct position. If any extra bone or cartilage is blocking the airflow, it will be removed. When the nostril pathways are clear and correctly arranged, the mucus membrane will be repositioned, and stitches will be applied to hold the position. Dr. Kallman uses cotton to pack the nose to ensure that the septum is held in the correct place till it can hold its own position.

Septoplasty is typically performed on an outpatient basis, which means most patients can go home on the same day as the surgery. The entire procedure can take anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes depending on the patient. The procedure may take longer if the patient is undergoing other cosmetic surgeries, like rhinoplasty. For most patients, general anesthesia is used, meaning the patient is asleep during the procedure. However, local anesthesia may also be an option (numbs target area).

The procedure occurs within the nose. The doctor will make an incision on one side of the patient’s nose, either lifting or removing the mucosa membrane covering the cartilage and bone. The mucosa membrane is a thin layer that protects the nasal septum. This allows the doctor to then reshape the nasal septum. Small portions may be removed, reshaped, and repositioned if necessary. Upon straightening the cartilage and bone in the septum, the doctor will put the mucosa membrane back in place.

Following the procedure, the doctor may insert a nasal splint or soft packing into the patient’s nose. This is done to hold the nasal tissue in place following the surgery, which will help to prevent nosebleeds as well as the formation of scar tissue. The splint is usually worn for one to two weeks while the packing is typically removed 24 to 36 hours following the surgery. If splints are used, the doctor will likely schedule another appointment to have them removed from the patient’s nose. For some patients, the doctor may leave in absorbable sutures that will dissolve on their own over time.

BOARD CERTIFIED SURGEON IN MIAMI

Face Miami’s very own Dr. Kallman specializes in Aesthetic Surgical procedures. These include Rhinoplasty, facial rejuvenation, eyelid and eyebrow lift surgeries, fat transfers and more. Watch the video to learn more! 

Dr. Kallman is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He re-certified his Plastic Surgery Board Certification in April 2005 and 2015- one of the first doctors in South Florida with this recertification.
An active member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, and The Greater Miami Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, he’s in an elite class.
Because of this wealth of knowledge and passion for cosmetic surgery, he has lectured extensively around the world- particularly on the intricacies of primary and secondary rhinoplasty.
An avid researcher, he continues to study innovations in lip augmentation, brow lifts, state of the art blepharoplasty, fat transfer surgery, breast surgery, nasal reconstruction, and anti-aging therapeutics.

Preparation for septoplasty

Before the surgery takes place, the patient will have an initial consultation with Dr. Kallman. During the consultation, he will determine if septoplasty is the best approach. He will also discuss the details of the entire procedure along with the anesthesia used during the surgery so the patient is fully prepared and knowledgeable about the surgery. He will also be present to answer any doubts or questions related to the surgery during this time. In preparation for the surgery, Dr. Kallman might recommend the patient stop using certain medication. This will include any blood thinners such as ibuprofen or aspirin. These blood thinners run the risk of excessive bleeding during and after the surgery which is why Dr. Kallman suggests the patient stop taking them before surgery. The patient should also mention any allergies or prior history of bleeding to the doctor before the surgical procedure. It is best if the patient avoids eating or drinking the night before the surgery. This will prevent them from getting nausea, choking, or vomiting when they undergo anesthesia. Dr. Kallman will also take "before" pictures of the patient's nose prior to the septoplasty procedure. These are useful when comparing the nose after the surgery to visualize the changes to the nose.

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Recovery timeline

Day 1-2

When the patient is sent home on the day of the surgery, they will most likely have an external cast or splint. The inside of the nose may also be packed for the first 24 to 48 hrs after the surgery.

 

Day 2-4

Any pain or discomfort felt initially can now be controlled easily with oral medication.

 

Day 4-6

At this stage, any external sutures are removed by Dr. Kallman and the internal sutures dissolve on their own.

 

Day  7-10

By the end of the week after surgery, the cast or splint is usually removed.

 

Week 2-4

From the 2nd to the 4th week after the surgery, most of the swelling and bruising is healed.

 

Month 3

The nose continues to heal, most of the brushing and swelling is gone by this point and the patient can get an idea for the final look of the nose.

 

Month 12-24 

A year after the surgery, the tissue has completely softened and the final result of the septoplasty is visible.

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Recovery process

The success rate with a septoplasty surgery is considerably high. More than 85% of people have an improvement in breathing after the septoplasty procedure. 

 

The patient will be transferred to a room immediately after the surgery. They might feel nauseous or dizzy for a few hours after the procedure, which is common and will subside after a few hours. They may also feel some pain or discomfort which can be subdued with painkillers. 

 

After the surgery, the medical team will put packing in the nostrils. This packing is made of cotton and restricts the nasal passages to stop any bleeding immediately after the surgery. This means that the patient will have to breathe through their mouth for some period after the procedure. Generally, if there are no complications, the patient will be discharged on the same day.

 

After the patient gets home, they can expect some discharge from the nasal passages. This is expected as the body heals itself. This congestion and discharge will typically resolve itself within two weeks. If there is discomfort or pain, painkillers can be taken as per Dr. Kallman’s prescription.

 

There are certain activities that the patient should avoid for a few weeks after the surgery to promote a quicker recovery. Firstly they should not blow their nose for three days after the procedure. This is to ensure that the newly placed septum stays in its place. They should also avoid tobacco and smoke as it can irritate the nose and delay the healing process. Alcohol should also be avoided to allow for maximum healing of the nose. Any strenuous activity should also be avoided for a few weeks as it may cause harm to the nose. Avoid crowded places containing smoke or contagious people as the patient should not get sick while recovering.

 

The patient should also avoid touching their face and wearing tight collared shirts as they can disturb the position of the nose while it is recovering. Another tip is to keep the head elevated while sleeping, which will help to minimize the swelling.



Benefits of septoplasty

 

There are many benefits that patients see after their septoplasty surgery. While some of these benefits are more commonly associated with the surgery there are also others that may not be widely known.

 

Improved breathing

 

More than 90% of the patients that undergo septoplasty surgery experience an improvement in their overall breathing capabilities. The septoplasty will also alleviate any problems such as daytime sleepiness. Since there will no longer be an improper flow of oxygen, the patient will not get tired during the day.

 

Fewer sinus infections

 

People with obstructed or narrowed nostrils tend to get more sinus infections as the mucus cannot pass regularly. After the septoplasty surgery, the airways are more open thus the mucus can pass regularly, lowering the risk of sinus infections.

 

 Better sleep

 

Most people are already aware that a septoplasty procedure can improve airflow. What they might not know is that realigning the bent septum or cartilage can reduce sleep apnea problems and reduce snoring which eventually leads to better quality sleep.

 

Regain senses

 

Oftentimes, patients with a deviated septum lose their sense of smell or taste. After the surgery, there is an extremely high chance that the people will be able to regain these senses.

Risks associated with a septoplasty procedure

Since septoplasty is a surgical procedure, there are certain risks involved with it. Some of these risk factors include mild numbness of the tooth and nose. All these risks can be avoided by opting for a trained and experienced surgeon like Dr. Kallman. He has certifications and experience with many septoplasty surgeries and he can make sure the patient gets their desired results without putting them at any risk.

 

In conclusion, septoplasty is a surgery to realign the septum of the nose. This realigning can be extremely helpful to the patient both functionally and aesthetically. Dr. Kallman is an experienced surgeon who can perform septoplasty surgery to ensure that the patient gets improved breathing and an aesthetically pleasing nose with minimum risks.



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