Septoplasty is a life-changing procedure for patients who routinely suffer from nosebleeds, headaches and breathing issues. By correcting a deviated septum with septoplasty, patients can breathe easier and improve their overall quality of life. As a board-certified otolaryngologist (ENT) and plastic surgeon with decades of experience, Dr. Michael Eisemann is uniquely qualified to perform all types of nose surgery with precision and accuracy. He proudly performs septoplasty for his patients at Eisemann Plastic Surgery Center.

What Is Septoplasty?

Septoplasty is a surgical procedure that corrects a deviated nasal septum. The nasal septum is a dividing wall found in the middle of the nose made of bone and cartilage. When located in the center of the nose, the septum separates the nose into two equal nasal airways. When a septum becomes deviated, airflow can become unbalanced between both nostrils. A deviated septum is very common and does not always cause noticeable symptoms.

Not every patient with a deviated septum requires septoplasty. However, patients who routinely experience some of the above symptoms to the extent that it impacts their quality of life may benefit from septoplasty. Deviated septums are usually diagnosed through a physical examination, although imaging can be used in some cases. They do not present any externally visible signs or symptoms and do not always correlate with nose asymmetry or a crooked nasal tip. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Eisemann to learn more about septoplasty and receive an in-person diagnosis.

For patients with a moderate to severe deviated septum, some common symptoms include:

  • Difficulty breathing out of one or both nostrils
  • Frequent nosebleeds or nasal crusting
  • Chronic headaches
  • Recurrent sinus infections
  • Noisy nasal breathing

Am I a Candidate for Septoplasty?

If you believe you suffer from a deviated septum and it regularly affects your quality of life, then you may be a candidate for septoplasty. A deviated septum can be present since birth, develop during growth or be the result of a facial injury. If you experience any uncomfortable symptoms, such as difficulty breathing or frequent nosebleeds or headaches, schedule a consultation with Dr. Eisemann to receive a diagnosis. Once a deviated septum has been identified, you can discuss whether septoplasty is right for your needs.

Patients interested in septoplasty will need to be healthy enough for surgery and have realistic expectations about the procedure. Results following septoplasty will take some time to develop and patients will need to spend time away from work and normal daily activities to focus on healing. Ideal patients will be non-smokers as smoking impacts blood flow and can lead to complications. Make sure you stop taking blood-thinning medication immediately before and after your procedure. If you need to take prescription blood thinners due to a health issue, be sure to let Dr. Eisemann know during your consultation.

Combining Septoplasty with a Nose Job

Septoplasty is strictly a functional nose surgery and will not change the outward appearance of your nose. If you would like to make cosmetic changes to your nose, such as fixing asymmetry, eliminating a nasal bump or depression, or straightening a crooked nasal tip, then you may be a better candidate for rhinoplasty. However, patients who choose to undergo septoplasty for a deviated septum can take advantage of the opportunity to also make cosmetic changes at the same. Septorhinoplasty, a septoplasty and rhinoplasty combination procedure, can address both cosmetic concerns and functional issues during the same surgery.

A septorhinoplasty will involve extra steps that incorporate aspects of a nose job into a septoplasty procedure. If you are interested in both rhinoplasty and septoplasty, let Dr. Eisemann know during your consultation so he can form a personalized treatment plan that matches your needs.

The Septoplasty Procedure

Septoplasty is performed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation. Once you have been sedated and numbed, Dr. Eisemann will make nonvisible incisions in the mucosal lining inside both nostrils. Depending on the location of the deviation, he may also make an external incision across the columella, the piece of tissue between the nostrils. After making the necessary incisions, Dr. Eisemann will expose the septum and begin the straightening process.

During the procedure, portions of the cartilage and bone structure of the septum may be repositioned, trimmed or removed. Every septoplasty is different and requires a unique approach designed around your unique anatomy. After straightening the deviated septum, Dr. Eisemann will close the incisions with dissolving sutures. Surgery usually takes less than two hours.

If you choose to make cosmetic alterations on top of your septoplasty, then your procedure will include elements of rhinoplasty and will take two to four hours. Dr. Eisemann will go over the specifics details of septorhinoplasty in detail before your surgery to ensure you know exactly what to expect on the day of your procedure.

Septoplasty Recovery

The recovery process following septoplasty is similar to recovering from a nose job but is typically shorter. Most patients make a full recovery in about one to two weeks, although some residual side effects will linger. Plan on taking one week off from work and waiting three to four weeks before resuming exercise and strenuous activities. Common side effects include bleeding for 24 to 48 hours, swelling, discomfort and congestion. Congestion will improve as swelling continues to diminish but may take months to subside completely.

  • The Results

    Results will become evident once the initial swelling dissipates. Unless you chose to undergo a combination nose job procedure, there will not be any visible changes to the outward appearance of your nose. Your breathing will continue to improve over the course of three months, at which point your final results should be evident. Dr. Eisemann will provide you with specific post-op instructions and an accurate recovery timeline before your surgery. If your septoplasty required an external incision across the columella, it will heal over the course of a few weeks. The resulting scar will not be very noticeable. Scars take 12 to 18 months to mature fully and any external scars will gradually fade to a thin white line after one year.

Your Septoplasty Consultation

Septoplasty is a rewarding procedure with lifelong results. If you are interested in learning more about septoplasty and finding out if the procedure is right for your needs, schedule a consultation with Dr. Eisemann. During your consultation, Dr. Eisemann will take the time to listen to all of your concerns and perform a comprehensive evaluation. Call the Eisemann Plastic Surgery Center today at 713-790-1771 to book your septoplasty consultation.