A deviated septum can cause distress and serious breathing difficulties, especially when the nasal septum misalignment is severe. Kaete Archer, MD FACS, is a board-certified plastic surgeon at the Aesthetic Institute of Manhattan for Facial and Plastic Surgery, New York, who specializes in ENT and facial cosmetic surgery and offers practical solutions for patients affected by a deviated septum. Call the office today or book an appointment online.
The nasal septum is the area of bone and cartilage that separates the nose into two halves. In some people, it can be misaligned, and cause the condition known as a deviated septum.
To deviate means to head away from the main path or established route. When the nasal septum deviates, instead of dividing the nose equally, it’s off center. When this deviation is severe, it can cause problems with breathing.
Many people have a slight imbalance in their nasal septum without it causing any noticeable effects. However, if the deviation is causing breathing problems, it should be treated as soon as possible.
A deviated septum can be a congenital problem, meaning you’re born with it, or it can arise as a result of some form of facial trauma.
The main symptom of a deviated septum is the struggle to breathe. People with a deviated septum usually suffer from nasal congestion as well, with one nostril often being affected more severely.
Other symptoms include:
A deviated septum can also lead to the onset of sleep apnea, a potentially dangerous condition in which a sleeping person stops breathing at frequent intervals.
Prescription medications can provide relief from the symptoms, but if they don’t, then you may need to undergo a surgical procedure called septoplasty.
During a septoplasty procedure, Dr. Archer incises the septum to reshape the bone and cartilage that’s blocking your nasal passages and to remove any excess tissue. The operation usually takes an hour to an hour-and-a-half and may be performed as an outpatient procedure. In milder cases, a non-invasive balloon septoplasty may be sufficient.
If you wish to improve the appearance of your nose, Dr. Archer may combine the septoplasty procedure with rhinoplasty in a process called a septorhinoplasty. Dr. Archer can also combine septoplasty with sinus surgery for patients affected by chronically blocked sinuses.
If you’re experiencing problems with breathing that seem to center around your nasal passages or sinuses, arrange a consultation with Dr. Archer so she can assess your condition and recommend the most appropriate treatment solution.
The team at the Aesthetic Institute of Manhattan for Facial and Plastic Surgery works closely with your insurance provider to optimize your options and takes care of all the backend work, so you don’t need to worry about anything. Call the office today or book an appointment online.