Deviated Nasal Septum

Deviated Nasal Septum

A deviated septum occurs when the thin wall (nasal septum) between your nasal passages is displaced to one side. In many people, the nasal septum is off-center — or deviated — making one nasal passage smaller.

The nasal septum is the centre partitioning between the 2 nasal passages. A crooked nasal septum can lead to breathing disorders with blocked nose. This can even be associated with conditions like obstructive sleep apnea. In some cases, the turbulent airflow generated as a result of the deviated nasal septum can cause dryness and crusting around the septum and can lead to nosebleeds (epistaxis). Uncommonly, a deviated nasal septum can also result in headaches (Sluder’s neuralgia).

Many patients have a deviated nasal septum. If the deviation is mild, it does not require surgical correction, otherwise a septoplasty may be necessary to straighten the crooked nasal septum. In severe cases of crooked nasal septum, a functional septorhinoplasty maybe necessary to straighten the crooked septum. This is especially so if the deviated septum affects the nasal valve area.

Endoscopic picture of the left nasal passage showing a deviated nasal septum to the left. This can impinge on the airway and result in breathing disorders.

Septoplasty is a surgical correction of the crooked septum usually performed under general anaesthesia. It is important to be careful during the correction to avoid affecting the support structure of the nose otherwise rare complications such as saddle nose deformity can occur. Generally, most patients will do well after surgery with minimal problems. It is a straightforward procedure that can be performed as a Day Surgery procedure.

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