What is septoplasty?

Septoplasty is a surgical procedure to correct a deviation of the nasal septum when it causes nasal obstruction. It is a functional and not an aesthetic operation, unlike rhinoplasty.

Septoplasty is a repair operation to correct a deviation of the nasal septum.

As a reminder, the nose is made up of different structures: the clean bone of the nose is the hardest part, at the very top of the nose, the cartilage that forms the lower part of the nose, and the fibrous tissue at the nostrils. Inside, the nose is divided into two nasal cavities separated by cartilage: the nasal septum, also called the nasal septum.

Sometimes this partition is not very straight. This deformation of the inner wall of the nose can affect the cartilage and bones of the nose. It can be congenital (present at birth), appear or accentuate during growth, or be due to trauma to the nose (impact, shock).

Therefore, the septoplasty will consist of reshaping and partially removing the deformed parts of the nasal septum to “straighten” it. It is sometimes associated with a turbinoplasty, an operation that removes a small amount of the cornet, a bone formation covered with mucosa, which is sometimes also at the origin of the nasal obstruction.

In case of a significant nasal deviation, the septoplasty can be associated with a rhinoplasty, that is, an operation of cosmetic surgery (to improve the appearance, therefore) of the nose. We then speak of rhinoseptoplasty.

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Septoplasty is a functional surgery; therefore, it can be covered by social security under certain conditions (unlike rhinoplasty, which it cannot be).

What is septoplasty?

What is septoplasty?

How is septoplasty done?

The intervention, which lasts between 30 minutes and 1 hour 30 minutes, takes place under general anesthesia and often under endoscopy.

The natural routes usually do septoplasty, that is, the nasal passages. We are talking about an endoanal incision. There will, therefore, be no visible scar. However, in some cases, mainly when the deviations are complex, a skin incision may be necessary. Minimal, it will be located at the base of the nose.

The surgeon begins by introducing a wick soaked in xylocaine naphazoline into the nasal cavities, which will have the effect of shrinking the nasal mucosa. Then, it carefully takes off the mucosa to reach the septum’s cartilage structure. He will then be able to reshape the nasal septum without planning and, if necessary, decrease small bony or cartilaginous growths at the origin of the deviation.

Once the partition becomes straight again, the surgeon will generally place a silicone tab in each nasal cavity. Like a splint, this tongue will keep the nasal septum in a good position, make the mucosa adhere better to the nasal septum, and thus promote healing.

When to do a septoplasty?

Septoplasty is indicated in the case of deviation of the nasal septum. Nearly 80% of adults have some degree of variation from the nasal septum, most often of no consequence. But sometimes, it can lead to medical and cosmetic complications:

A nasal obstruction that can cause difficulty in breathing, snoring;
sinus or even ear infections, migraines;
aesthetic discomfort when associated with external deformation of the nose.

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The days following the operation

The operating suites
Post-operative bleeding, which is rarely significant, may occur.

Septoplasty is a painless operation. The first few weeks after the procedure, the nose may show bruising and remain swollen, with some difficulty breathing. Some patients experience temporary tearing related to irritation of the lacrimal passages, a brief sensitivity disorder in the teeth of the upper jaw.

Regular cleaning of the nose is recommended to avoid stagnation of secretions in the nose. The silicone tabs will be removed 8-10 days after the operation.

In the first month, it is recommended to limit your sports practice.

Septoplasty presents various secondary risks:

A sequential perforation of the septum, which can lead to wheezing when breathing, the formation of crusts, and small hemorrhages;
scar adhesions that may be responsible for persistent nasal obstruction;
a deformation of the tip of the nose, which can be resumed surgically.
Other complications, more severe but infrequent, can occur:

  • A severe infectious complication such as meningitis or abscess by leaking cerebrospinal fluid.
  • Sense of smell:
  • An oral-nasal fistula.
  • The results
  • The nose returns to its approximately normal appearance about ten days after the operation, but the nasal comfort and the benefits are obtained after a month. Breathing will be easier if the deviation is necessary.

What is rhinoplasty?

The main difference between rhinoplasty and septoplasty is that septoplasty is functional surgery, although both correctors. Its purpose is to facilitate breathing. However, rhinoplasty is both corrective and aesthetic.
In this case, precisely, some of its interventions can correct nasal imperfections that do not affect the function of the nose, that is to say, have the aim to beautify the nose and restore its shape of the nose. A distinction is made between aesthetic rhinoplasty and functional rhinoplasty.

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Cosmetic rhinoplasty aims to change the nose’s morphology and redo its anatomy while preserving its function. However, functional rhinoplasty, like a septoplasty, must act on the part of the nose, sometimes to the detriment of its shape.

Septorhinoplasty or rhinoseptoplasty

Rhinoseptoplasty and septorhinoplasty are different names for the association between septoplasty and rhinoplasty. The two interventions are generally combined when the deviation of the nose is associated with aesthetic discomfort.

Suppose resection of the deflected septum or straightening of the septum can bring a better respiratory function to the patient. In that case, the reshaping of the external structure of the nose can bring psychological comfort by eliminating this complex. A cartilage graft is, therefore, sometimes necessary to straighten the nose.

February 2019

References
CNPORL (National Professional Council of ORL), Medical information before performing a septoplasty, Orlfrance, (page consulted on 11/11/2018)

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