Rhinoplasty is a surgical procedure intended to improve the appearance of the nose while septoplasty involves correcting a deviated septum. Recent studies have shown that a large number of people who require rhinoplastic reconstructions are likely to have a deviated septum and therefore will undergo both procedures also to align the underlying septum. This discovery has created a thin line between these two procedures since it is almost impossible to correct a crooked nose without affecting the underlying layers surgically.
A deviated septum
Nasal septum is the bone and cartilage that divide the nasal cavity into two halves. A deviated septum is a condition in which this part of the nose is off-centre or appears crooked, making breathing difficult since one side of the nasal passage is narrower. This condition can be a congenital malformation in some people while others suffer a deviated septum through nose injuries. In most cases, a deviated septum does not affect the quality of life and may not depict any significant symptoms at all. In some people, it will cause difficulty while breathing, sleeping or exercising.
Symptoms of a deviated septum
• Nasal congestion, sometimes one-sided
• Crooked appearance of the nasal septum
• Snoring or noisy breathing especially while sleeping
• Difficulty in breathing
• Facial pain, mostly one-sided
• Allergic symptoms
• Frequent sinus infections
• Frequent nose bleeding
• Dryness of the nasal cavity
Recommended treatments for a deviated septum
Most people can live with a deviated septum if it does not affect their daily lives. However, its symptoms can be aggravated by certain conditions such as allergies and common colds. In such cases, the symptoms can be relieved with over-the-counter medicine. For patients who are just worried about breathing, septoplasty alone can be just enough to cure a deviated septum. However, most people suffering from this condition may also have a visibly deformed nose and would like a surgeon also to fix this obvious deformity while correcting the septum. In this case, the surgeon will carry out both septoplasty and rhinoplasty on one patient simultaneously. The combined procedure is called septorhinoplasty.
You Can Find an Encyclopedia of Surgical Terms Here
The rhinoplasty process
For patients who wish to improve the appearance of their noses, it is advisable for them to have both rhinoplasty and septoplasty carried out on them in a single operation to benefit from a single healing process and also reduce overall costs. Most plastic surgeons can do both procedures and are likely to offer you the two procedures for the price of one. Ear, nose and throat specialists can determine to what extent your septum is deviated and assist surgeons in planning for the minor surgery.
Rhinoplastic reconstructions depend largely on paying great detail to symmetry to create a better balance between comfort and general attractiveness of the face. The procedure usually takes not more than two hours to complete, and the patient does not spend any nights at the hospital. It can be performed under local or general anaesthesia with patients being able to leave the hospital in about four hours after the operation is completed.
Rhinoplasty is performed via the nostrils. The surgeon’s objective is to straighten and stabilise the deformed nasal septum. During the surgery, bone and cartilage are removed or added accordingly to straighten the nasal septum while severely damaged portions of the septum may be removed entirely, readjusted and inserted back into the nose. After the surgery, packing material is placed in the nose to support the healing septum and prevent excessive bleeding. Swelling and bruising of the face should be expected though most people can get back to work in a week or two.