As one of the most common procedures across North America, the topic of how septoplasty helps your breathing gets more popular by the year. Linville Plastic Surgery answers all your FAQs in today’s blog.
How Septoplasty Helps Your Breathing
As one of the most common procedures across North America–with approximately 260,000 cases performed annually in the United States alone–septoplasty is widely regarded as one of the best minor surgeries to correct breathing concerns.
But what exactly is septoplasty, and what is the science behind how septoplasty helps your breathing? Today’s blog answers your most frequently-asked questions about the procedure.
Let’s dive in:
What Is Septoplasty?
Septoplasty is a minor surgical procedure that is used to correct a deviated septum. A deviated septum occurs when the thin wall of tissue that separates the two nostrils of the nose (the septum) is crooked or otherwise off-center.
This deviation often triggers a variety of problems including, but not limited to, difficulty breathing, sinus infections, sleep apnea, and frequent nosebleeds due to poor nasal drainage. During septoplasty, your nasal septum is repositioned to the center of your nose; this may require your surgeon to cut and/or remove parts of your nasal septum before inserting them into their proper position.
Septoplasty can be done under either local or general anesthesia and takes no longer than two hours.
The Benefits of Septoplasty for Breathing
Septoplasty can provide several benefits to those with a deviated septum, including:
- Reduced risk of sinus infections: A deviated septum can cause sinus infections because it can trap bacteria and other irritants in the nasal passages. By straightening the septum, it can help reduce the risk of sinus infections.
- Fewer (or no) frequent nosebleeds: A deviated septum can cause chronic nosebleeds because the septum can become dry and irritated. Septoplasty can help reduce the risk of nosebleeds by reducing irritation and allowing the septum to stay moist.
- Improved breathing: Of course, the most common benefit of septoplasty is improved breathing. By straightening the septum, the airway is opened up and allows for easier and more efficient airflow. This can help reduce symptoms such as snoring, sleep apnea, and shortness of breath.
Septoplasty Recovery Time
Here at Linville Plastic Surgery, we prioritize patient education to ensure that your expectations for recovery are aligned before you even enter the treatment room.
During the procedure, your surgeon will close the incision with an absorbable suture, with soft silicone splints commonly being inserted inside each nostril to support the septum. This may be cushioned by “packing,” a bandage-like material inserted into the nostrils to prevent postoperative bleeding.
Once this is complete, you’ll be moved to your assigned recovery room for staff to watch for any potential complications for a period of time before your same-day release. Please note that, due to the anesthesia, you will be required to have a driver rather than drive yourself home.
When Full Results Appear
While the full benefits of a septoplasty can be felt within three to six months, initial healing is typically seen within three weeks. During the first 24 hours, it is recommended that you:
- Keep your head elevated while sleeping to minimize swelling
- Not blow your nose
- Wear clothes that fasten at the front vs. tight-fitting shirts or blouses that need to be pulled down over the head and face
- Avoid strenuous activities or exercise
By three to six months after surgery, your nasal tissues will have stabilized. Some changes can still occur for up to a year or more after surgery, however.
Frequently-Asked Questions About Septoplasty
“Who is a candidate for septoplasty?”
–A deviated septum is required for a septoplasty, which can be determined during your consultation with Dr. Linville. During your consultation, Dr. Linville will examine your nasal structure and inquire about your health history. Once done, he will discuss your symptoms and concerns in-depth to determine if you are a candidate for a septoplasty. If you are, he will then create a personalized procedure plan.
“Is septoplasty the same as a nose job?”
–No, septoplasty is not the same as rhinoplasty. While rhinoplasty focuses on the cosmetics of the nose, septoplasty targets the functionality of the nasal passage.
“How common are complications with septoplasty?”
–Complications are uncommon. Septoplasty is widely regarded as one of the safest minor facial procedures available, especially in the hands of a skilled surgeon. During your consultation, you will be briefed on rare potential complications like temporary numbness, a decreased sense of smell, and nasal obstruction. These concerns can frequently be treated via corrective surgery.
“Can you have a septoplasty and a rhinoplasty done at the same time?”
–Yes, combination surgeries for septoplasty and rhinoplasty are available at Linville Plastic Surgery. Non-surgical rhinoplasty options are also available to patients.
Schedule your consultation with Dr. Linville today to experience how septoplasty helps your breathing first-hand.