Do you get a cold every time you enter a cold room or a car? Do you have a runny nose all through the day? If yes, then you must be suffering from a deviated septum. A deviated septum occurs when the cartilage or the bone is not straight.
The septum is the wall between the nostrils that separates the nasal passages, directing the airflow. The septum is made of a thin bone in the back with the cartilage in the front. A deviated septum is very common in people with only a few having a perfectly straight septum. It can bend on its own during childhood, at birth or due to an injury to the nose.
A deviated septum can be corrected with surgery called septoplasty or septal reconstruction. Also done to correct breathing problems or snoring, septoplasty takes about 60 to 90 minutes during which the surgeon will send an endoscope through the nasal passage to confirm the shape of the septum before proceeding with the surgery. The surgeon makes an incision on one side of the nose and lifts up the mucus membrane covering the septum before correcting the position of the septum. After righting the position of the septum, the mucus membrane is repositioned and stitched to remain in place.
Septoplasty is performed as an outpatient surgery under general or local anaesthesia and though it might sound like a simple surgery, it is not risk-free. Some of the risks involved include:
- Altered shape of the nose
- Low blood pressure
Patients who got the surgery done recover fast enough but it is advisable for them to reduce physical activity for a few weeks after surgery as it takes at least six weeks to heal completely. Some ways to recover quickly are:
- Keep head elevated to reduce swelling
- Do not blow your nose
- Sneeze through the mouth
After the surgery, you will see a noticeable change in the way you breathe. You will no longer be suffering from cold throughout the year. Though the wound will heal very quickly, the cartilage and the surrounding tissue will take at least one year to heal completely.