The septum, which is made of five different structures, may become crooked at some point in a person’s life, causing a clogged nose. The septum is a wall that separates the nasal passages. The five structures that make up the septum are:
Perpendicular plate of the ethmoid bone
The crest of the palatine bone
The crest of the maxillary bone
Usually, the septum only becomes crooked as a result of an accident, though other causes are certainly possible. A crooked septum is not significant unless it causes difficulty in breathing or causes recurrent sinusitis.
Turbinates are soft tissue structures that hang next to the septum. If they become swollen, they may block the breathing passageway. Signs of swollen turbinates include snoring, breathing through the mouth, a change in a person’s voice, drooling while sleeping, sleep apnea and problems smelling and tasting things.
Allergies may also cause a person to have difficulty with breathing. A person needs to be evaluated for allergies before he or she has surgery to correct a deviated septum is important. The operation for repairing a deviated septum is called a septoplasty. When the surgeon performs this, he or she goes in through the nose so that there are no outside incisions. At the same time, a surgeon could perform turbinate reduction, if required.
Another cause of difficult breathing is a drooping nasal tip. If this is causing a problem breathing, the surgeon may perform a rhinoplasty to change the nose’s structure. During a rhinoplasty, a surgeon reshapes the nose.
Recovery TimeThere are two things the surgeon can use after surgery: small sponges or nasal packing. If the doctor uses small sponges, it is usually removed within one day. If the doctor uses nasal packing, it is usually removed in three to five days. A patient may receive pain medication for the after-surgery pain. Most people are out of work no more than five days.
In most cases, the nose doesn’t swell or bruise on the outside. Doctors recommend that patients do not lift heavy items or fly on planes for about two weeks after the surgery has been completed.
ResultsMost people notice that they can breathe much easier once the septoplasty has been completed. Not only do they notice that they can breathe better, but they also notice that their senses of taste and sense of smell is working much better.