Type of Surgery
Last updated: 11/24/2009
The primary conditions that may suggest a need for septoplasty include:
- nasal air passage obstruction
- nasal septal deformity
- headaches caused by septal spurs
- chronic and uncontrolled nosebleeds
- chronic sinusitis...
associated with a deviated septum
- obstructive sleep apnea
- polypectomy (polyp removal)
- tumor excision
- turbinate surgery
- ethmoidectomy (removal of all or part of a small bone on the upper part of the nasal cavity)
Septal deformities can cause nasal airway obstruction. Such airway obstruction can lead to mouth breathing, chronic nasal infections, or obstructive sleep apnea. Septal spurs can produce headaches when these growths lead to increased pressure on the nasal septum. Polypectomy, ethmoidectomy, tumor removal, and turbinate surgical procedures often include septoplasty. Individuals who have used significant quantities of cocaine over a long period of time often require septoplasty because of alterations in the nasal passage structures.
Septal deviation is usually diagnosed by direct observation of the nasal passages. In addition, a computed tomography (CT) scan of the entire nasal passage is often performed. This scan allows the physician to fully assess the structures and functioning of the area. Additional tests that evaluate the movement of air through the nasal passages may also be performed.
Before performing a septoplasty, the surgeon will evaluate the difference in airflow between the two nostrils. In children, this assessment can be done very simply by asking the child to breathe out slowly on a small mirror held in front of the nose.
As with any other operation under general anesthesia, patients are evaluated for any physical conditions that might complicate surgery and for any medications that might affect blood clotting time. If a general anesthetic is used, then the patient is advised not to drink or eat after midnight the night before the surgery. In many cases, septoplasty can be performed on an outpatient basis using local anesthesia. Conditions that might preclude a patient from receiving a septoplasty include excessive cocaine abuse, Wegener's granulomatosis, malignant lymphomas, and an excessively large septal perforation.
This 3D animation describes why we need to respire oxygen and why that requirement is increased during exercise.
Septoplasty is a corrective surgical procedure done to straighten the nasal septum, the partition between the two nasal cavities. Ideally, the septum should run down the center of the nose. When it deviates into one of the cavities, it narrows that cavity and impedes airflow. Often the inferior turbinate on the opposite side enlarges, which is termed compensatory hypertrophy. Nasal obstructions caused by serious deviations frequently lead to chronic sinus problems. Turbinate reduction may also be advised to further enlarge the nasal cavities. If turbinate resection is indicated special care should be taken to avoid over-resection leading to Empty nose syndrome. Most surgeries are completed in 90 minutes or less, not including recovery time.
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