A surgery performed in order to treat a deviated nasal septum is known as septoplasty. The nasal septum when deviates into one of the nasal cavity, airflow is obstructed as a result of narrowing down of that cavity. The turbinate (a curled bone shelf in nasal cavity) present in the opposite nasal cavity enlarges, so as to compensate for the deviation of nasal septum. The nasal septum is never perfectly straight, except in rare cases. Most of the people have some degree of crookedness in the septum. However, if the deviation is big enough to cause airflow obstruction, the option of septoplasty is chosen.
The septoplasty and turbinate reduction surgery is done under local or general anesthesia. During this surgery, excision of bones and/or cartilage which obstructs the path of airflow in the nasal cavity is performed. In the process, lining of septum is lifted gently and the deviated cartilage is straightened by means of excision. The 'L'- shaped cartilage present in the caudal or dorsal areas is left as it is for support. After the excision process is completed, the nasal septum is provided some stability with the help of splints, plastic tubes or sutures.
The nasal cavities generally bleed after the septoplasty is performed. The gauze piece taped below the nasal cavity helps in the absorption of blood. The gauze needs to be replaced every hour; bleeding stops completely after 1-2 days. Once the bleeding stops, saline irrigations are recommended for nasal cavities.
Turbinate Reduction Procedure
The turbinate which is also known as nasal concha is a bony structure that protrudes in the nasal cavity. The turbinate helps in warming and humidifying the inhaled air. The obstruction to nasal passage caused by them is resolved by means of the turbinate surgery. In this type of surgery, the overgrowth of turbinate is removed; it is however, advisable to avoid complete removal. Removing it completely would result into a crusty and dry nose. This surgery can be performed by various methods. However, the type of surgery involving partial resection of the bone gives the best results. The turbinate reduction recovery period is around 2-3 days.
Complications of Septoplasty Surgery
The following complications may occur after a septoplasty surgery.
- The external appearance of the nasal cavity might change after a septoplasty surgery.
- There may not be any change in the condition of the air passage even after the surgery.
- One of the rare kind of complications which occurs is the septal perforation. Bleeding and crusting of the nose are conditions associated with septal perforations.
- Septal hematoma is also one of the rare complications which results from surgery. Persistent bleeding under the skin flap of septum is the cause of this condition; it may further result in the saddling of the nose. To prevent this problem, it should be detected within 24 hours and the blood should be drained immediately.
Turbinate Reduction Complications
Complications that occur as a result of turbinate reduction are mentioned below.
- Excessive resection of the turbinate results in a condition called dry nose.
- One of the complications of turbinate reduction is that bleeding may take several weeks to stop.
- If the resection of turbinate is not performed properly, stuffiness in the nasal cavity prevails and the surgery may have to be repeated once again.
The septoplasty and turbinate reduction surgery is important from the point of treating the problem of nasal septum deviation and turbinate overgrowth. The article presents information about these procedures in a compact manner.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.