What is A septoplasty?
The septum is the divider between the right side of the nose and the left side of the nose. It can be significantly bent or crooked causing obstruction of either the left or right side. Septoplasty is a procedure used to correct this crookedness of the septum. With modern techniques this can be corrected with a very small incision endoscopically.
You may have been told by friends or coworkers about how difficult their septoplasty procedure was for them and how much pain they had experienced. Unfortunately many ENT surgeons are still using older techniques for septoplasty. Dr. Slaughter has pioneered the modern technique which allows the septum to be corrected with a 3mm incision, no packing, no splinting, no bruising, no plastic or gauze in the nose. Patients are able to breathe better in most cases right away.
What Causes a Deviated Septum?
Any form of trauma to the nose, even a very small bump as a child, can result in a deviated septum. This can even be an injury that occurs during birth. As such, a deviated septum is very common. It doesn’t matter if it’s deviated unless there are associated symptoms.
Dr. Daniel Slaughter explains what it means to have a deviated septum, why it matters and how it is treated with an in office procedure (under IV sedation).
What are the symptoms of a deviated septum?
Patients with a deviated septum typically complain of the following symptoms:
- Chronic congestions
- Nasal Obstruction
- Mouth Breathing
- Sleep apnea
They may also have more frequent sinus infections.
Am I an Ideal Candidate for Deviated Septum Surgery?
Anyone that has symptoms from their deviated septum and has not had a resolution of these symptoms with typical over-the-counter medical treatments is an excellent candidate for septoplasty.
Diagnosing a Deviated Septum
The diagnosis of a deviated septum is made by nasal endoscopy. In our office when a patient has a complaint of congestion or sinus issues a nasal endoscopy is performed. A high definition camera connected to the nasal endoscope allows the inside of the nose to be seen on a screen connected to the exam chair. The endoscope provides a painless evaluation inside the nose with 3 times magnification. The structure of the septum, the nasal turbinates, and sinus outflow areas can be seen. Frequently this nasal endoscopy exam is coupled with a miniCT scan performed in our office. This provides a comprehensive understanding of the nasal and sinus anatomy.
How Is Deviated Septum Surgery Performed?
In our clinic, a septoplasty, the correction of a deviated septum, is a simple office procedure performed under IV sedation. It takes less than 15 minutes, there is no packing or splinting, patients typically will not require pain medication, and usually return to work the next day. Patients look normal as there is no change in the physical appearance of the nose. The technique involves making a tiny incision inside the nose and elevating the lining up off of the thin eggshell cartilage and bone that make up the center of the septum. This structure is molded to make it straight and then the lining is laid back down and secured with one dissolvable suture.
How Common Is It To Have a Deviated Septum?
A deviated septum is very common. In fact almost everyone has one to some degree. But many times it is mild and asymptomatic and therefore it is of no significance. The degree of symptoms is not necessarily related to the amount of deviation but its location and other factors such as allergy or sinus inflammation.
Is the Septoplasty Procedure Painful?
Our technique to correct a deviated septum involves a simple office procedure taking less than 15 minutes under IV sedation. There is no packing, no splinting, no bruising, and patients typically work the next day. Most patients will require no pain medicine.
Why Should I Choose Dr. Slaughter To Perform My Septoplasty?
The traditional septoplasty performed by most ENT surgeons requires general anesthesia, splinting and packing, significant pain and a week to recover. Patients will travel from long distances to have Dr. Slaughter perform this procedure using his advanced technique.
What Are the Risks Associated With Deviated Septum Surgery?
Fortunately, septoplasty is a safe and simple procedure with a very high success rate and a very low risk of complications. There is a slight risk of scaring, bleeding, need for a revision procedure, and perforation (small hole), among other risks.
Can a Deviated Septum Be Repaired Non-Surgically?
No. There are offices that purport to do a “balloon” septoplasty but this technique simply smashes the septum to create some minimal breathing improvement and does not correct the underlying deviation.
Can other procedures be performed at the same time as a Septoplasty?
Very frequently septoplasty is performed along with balloon sinuplasty and turbinate reduction. The addition of a balloon sinuplasty further improves the nasal breathing, reduces the risk for sinus infections, and reduces sinus pressure and headache. The addition of turbinate reduction also further improves the nasal breathing as well as reduces allergy symptoms such as post nasal drip.
Will I have any visible scarring after treatment?
There is a very small incision inside the nose, approximately 3 mm, and no external scarring.
Septum surgery recovery
Most patients can return to work the following day. Typically patients can resume normal activity including physical exercise within one week. Patients will typically complain of cold like symptoms lasting approximately five days. The modern technique does not require any packing or splinting and is virtually painless.
I had septoplasty done with Dr Slaughter a couple of months ago. It was the easiest and simply best experience ever. I was terrified as I had this done by another dr. That dr messed everything up and I had to deal with it for years. Dr Slaughter was to the point and I trusted him. I’m so glad I did. It was the easiest surgery ever and I didn’t have to wear splints or packing in my nose. The surgery center staff was beyond incredible too. Thank all of you!
Schedule A Consultation
If you are interested in a septoplasty and would like to learn more information, contact our Austin, TX office today at 512-601-0303 to schedule a consultation with ENT Specialist Dr. Daniel Slaughter.