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Deviated Septum FAQs

Dr. Rizk works with most insurance
benefits for any medical issues in nose
as an out of network doctor.
Call the office to find out more.

What is a deviated septum?
The nasal septum is the bone and cartilage in the nose that separate the nasal cavity into two parts. When the septum is positioned normally, the cavities are symmetrical; however, in the case of a deviated septum, the cartilage leans more to the left or the right, thus creating an obstruction in the nasal passage. The nasal septum is not always perfectly straight, which is normal. An off-center septum does not require medical intervention unless it is causing pain or other medical complications, in which case the condition is deemed a deviated septum.

What causes a deviated septum?
A deviated septum is most commonly caused by impact trauma to the face (for example, via a punch to the nose or a sporting collision). It can also be a congenital disorder as a result of compression of the nose during the birthing process. Deviated septums are also associated with certain genetic connective tissue disorders.

What are the symptoms of a deviated septum?
Sinus infections, snoring, headaches, facial pain, frequent sneezing, nosebleeds, difficulty breathing through the nose, and sleep apnea are all common symptoms of a deviated septum.

How will my doctor determine if I have a deviated septum?
Dr. Rizk will use an endoscope to examine the nasal passages and determine if you are suffering from a deviated septum. An endoscope is a thin, light-weight instrument with a lens that allows the doctor to see inside of the nose.

What treatment is used to correct a deviated septum?
A deviated septum can be repaired through a surgical procedure called a septoplasty. During a septoplasty, the surgeon cuts away the obstructing tissue and cartilage. The procedure typically takes less than one hour, and does not change the shape of the nose or face physically. During the procedure, the patient will be under general or local anesthesia. The doctor will access the septum through the nostrils and will not need to make any incisions on the outside of the nose. During the surgery, cartilage will be removed and the bone and/or cartilage may be realigned. A sufficient amount of cartilage will be left in the nose to provide structural support.

How long is the recovery period after a septoplasty? What instructions will I need to follow?
There typically is little to no swelling or external bruising to the face after a septoplasty. The recovery period is about 2 – 4 weeks and varies based on the amount of revision required. Packing is not commonly used during septoplasty, however splints may be placed. When your doctor determines, the splints will be removed (usually after 1 – 2 weeks).

Are there cosmetic reasons to have a septoplasty?
Occasionally, a deviated septum can lead to the appearance of a crooked nose. If a deviated septum is determined to be the cause of a crooked nose, a septoplasty may be performed. Typically, however, a septoplasty does not result in any major change in the patient’s physical appearance.