What is a septoplasty?

A septoplasty is an operation to correct the shape of the septum to make it easier to breathe through the nose. The septum is the cartilage and bone that sits in the middle of the nose, separating the two nostrils. If the septum is bent, it can cause a blockage of airflow from one or both sides, making it challenging to breath

How is a septoplasty done?

A septoplasty if usually performed under a general anaesthetic. The skin on the inside of the nose is lifted up after a small incision is made on the inside. This allows the cartilage and the bone of the septum to be adequately visualized. Once the septal “deformity” has been appreciated, small cuts and adjustments are made to straighten any curves. Dissolvable stitches are then placed and you can normally go home a few hours after.

What are the risks of a septoplasty?

Like with all surgery, there is a risk of bleeding and infection. Specific to a septoplasty, there is a risk of developing a septal perforation, which is a hole in the septum. Sometimes there may be some numbness around the nose or the upper teeth, which should recover with time. Occasionally, the external appearance of the nose may change. It is possible that scar tissue can develop inside the nose which may cause further breathing problems and sometimes the surgery may need to be repeated.