Everyone has a friend who has had their deviated septum repaired. Many times, people assume this means their friend had a rinoplastia, also known as rhinoplasty, or used their deviated septum as an excuse to have a nose job, but this is not true. The septum is composed of both cartilage and bone and separates the right and left nasal passageways. If the septum is straight, then the air can freely flow through the nose. If the septum is off to the side, which is a deviated septum, then the passageway can be narrowed, which causes nasal obstruction. There are many causes of nasal obstruction with a deviated septum being one of the most common causes. It is important to see a rhinoplasty or nose specialist in the Charlotte or Columbia area to ensure the correct diagnosis and treatment of nasal obstruction.
If the deviated septum is identified as the cause of the nasal blockage, then a short, minimally-invasive procedure, septoplastia, can be performed as an outpatient surgery. During the procedure, all of the incisions are hidden in the nose and the majority of patients will not require any packing in the nose. The recovery time is only a few days and patients are then back to their normal routine. Their breathing will improve over a few weeks after the swelling inside the nose resolves.
Many times patients undergoing a nose job will have a septoplasty simultaneously to improve their breathing or to collect the cartilage to be used during the rhinoplasty, which is used to help support the nose. Patients can undergo a septoplasty to repair a deviated septum in order to improve their breathing without having a nose job or patients can have a nose job without having their septum repaired. So, next time your friend says they had their deviated septum repaired, do not assume that they had a rhinoplasty.
Dr. Jonathan Kulbersh is a Board-Certified Head and Neck Surgeon and is fellowship trained in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. His practice, Carolina Facial Plastic Surgery, sees patients in his offices in Charlotte, North Carolina and Columbia, South Carolina serving the Southpark, Meyers Park, Eastover, Ballentyne, Huntersville, Irmo and Lexington areas.