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Treatment for Deviated Nasal Septum

Septoplasty Overview

GOALS Improve nasal airway obstruction due to internal structural deformity
PROCEDURE Septoplasty
ANESTHESIA Local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia
LENGTH About 1 hour

Internal splints are typically removed after 7 days.

RECOVERY Resume normal activities after a couple of days, return to work in 1 week, resume full activity and exercise at 3 weeks.

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Featured Video - Septoplasty

Septoplasty is performed to improve nasal breathing obstruction. The procedure entails modification of the shape, size or contour of the cartilagenous nasal septum which separates the right and left nasal airway. Septoplasty does not affect the appearance of the nose in most cases, and does not result in any bruising or external signs of surgery.

The ideal nasal septum is exactly midline, separating the left and right sides of the nose into passageways of equal size. Estimates are that 80 percent of all nasal septums are off-center, a condition that is generally not noticed. A "deviated septum" occurs when the septum is severely shifted away from the midline. The most common symptom from a badly deviated or crooked septum is difficulty breathing through the nose. The symptoms are usually worse on one side, and sometimes actually occur on the side opposite the bend. In some cases the crooked septum can interfere with the drainage of the sinuses, resulting in repeated sinus infections.

Why Should You Choose Dr. Pearson to Perform Your Septoplasty?
Dr. Pearson is trained in both facial plastic surgery, and ear, nose and throat surgery, which provides you as the patient with the highest level of training and expertise. Furthermore, Dr. Pearson is an expert in the field and has written numerous surgical book chapters and articles covering various aspects of nasal surgery.

You may be a candidate for septoplasty if you experience nasal airway obstruction that is not adequately relieved with medical management such as topical nasal sprays or allergy treatments. On nasal exam, internal structural deformity may appear to contribute significantly to your symptoms.

During septoplasty, the septum is approached with invisible incisions placed entirely on the inside of the nose. The lining of the nose is separated from the cartilage, which then undergoes modification to minimize the cause of the airway obstruction. The procedure takes approximately 1 hour to perform. Hidden internal nasal splints and absorbable sutures are used to facilitate healing.

Complementary Procedures
Septoplasty may be combined with turbinate reduction or Rhinoplasty for breathing obstruction or for improving nasal appearance.

Following septoplasty, you can expect a couple of days of minimal swelling and soreness which is well controlled with Tylenol in most cases. Internal nasal splints are typically removed after 7 days. By then, much of the nasal swelling is resolved and nasal breathing is improving. You can resume most normal activities after a couple of days, except for intense exercise, which may be resumed at about 3 weeks. Most people return to work in 1 week.

Nasal Surgery Publications by Dr. Pearson

Dr. Pearson is a nasal specialist and a published author who has written numerous articles and plastic surgery textbook chapters on this topic. Learn more here.

  • Quatela VC, Pearson JM. Management of the Aging Nose. Rhinoplasty The Experts Reference. Ed. Sclafani, AP. Thieme. 2015
  • Quatela VC, Pearson JM. The Underprojected Nose / Ptotic Tip. Master Techniques in Rhinoplasty and Nasal Reconstruction. Ed. Azizzadeh B, et al. Philadelphia, Elsevier. 2011
  • Sclafani AP, Pearson JM. Nasal Grafts & Implants. Advanced Therapy in Facial and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Ed. Thomas JR. PMPH-USA, Ltd. 2010
  • Quatela VC, Pearson JM. Management of the Aging Nose. Facial Plast Surg. 2009 Oct;25(4):215-221.
  • Romo T 3rd, Pearson JM. Nasal implants. Facial Plast Surg Clin North Am. 2008 Feb;16(1):123-32
  • Romo III T, Patel A, Pearson JM. Local Mucosal Flaps for Closure of Septal Perforations. Grabb’s Encyclopedia of Flaps, Volume I: Head and Neck, 3rd Edition. Eds. Strauch B, et al. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2009. 221-224.
  • Romo T 3rd, Pearson JM, Lin HS, Patel A, Presti P, Abraham MT, Yalamanchili H.  Rhinoplasty, Postrhinoplasty Nasal Obstruction. e-medicine article. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/841574-overview. October 12, 2007.
  • Romo T 3rd, Yalamanchili H, Presti P, Pearson JM. Septal Perforation: Surgical Aspects. e-medicine article. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/878817-overview. July 24, 2007.

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American Academy of Facial Plastic
& Reconstructive Surgery

American Board of Facial Plastic
& Reconstructive Surgery
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Dr. Pearson sees patients from around the world including the following Southern California locations: Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Burbank, Culver City, El Segundo, Glendale, Hawthorne, Hermosa Beach, Hollywood, Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Marina del Rey, Newport Beach, Orange County, Pacific Palisades, Palos Verdes, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, San Pedro, Santa Monica, Seal Beach, South Bay, Torrance, Venice, Ventura, Westchester, West Hollywood, Woodland Hills