What is a deviated septum?

The nasal septum is made up of bone and cartilage, and its primary function is to support the nose and regulate airflow. A deviation in the septum can be congenital (present at birth) or acquired as a result of an injury. This condition is incredibly common; in fact, most people will have some form of deviation within their nasal septum, though not all will experience symptoms or require treatment.

What are the symptoms of a deviated septum?

In cases where the deviation is significant, individuals may experience chronic symptoms that can include:

  • Difficulty breathing through one or both nostrils
  • Nasal congestion, often limited to one side
  • Frequent nosebleeds
  • Facial pain
  • Noisy breathing during sleep
  • Awareness of the nasal cycle
  • Sleep apnea and snoring

A severely deviated septum can also affect the drainage of the sinuses, which can lead to repeated sinus infections, a condition known as sinusitis.

Step one: Diagnosis

Diagnosing a deviated septum will require an examination. An ENT specialist may use a nasal speculum to hold the nose open while examining the inside of each nostril with a bright light to evaluate the shape of the nasal septum. This can also be supplemented with imaging tests if additional nasal structure issues are suspected.

Background media

What is the treatment for a deviated nasal septum?

Treatment for a deviated septum varies based on the severity of the condition and the severity of symptoms.

Non-surgical treatments

For minor deviations or symptoms, the following treatments may be recommended:

  • Decongestants reduce nasal tissue swelling, which eases breathing.
  • Antihistamines to manage allergy symptoms which might exacerbate the blockage.
  • Nasal corticosteroid sprays to reduce inflammation and swelling.

Surgical treatments

When symptoms are severe, surgery is necessary. The most common procedure is a septoplasty, which aims to straighten the nasal septum by repositioning and removing segments of bone and cartilage. This surgery is typically performed entirely through the nostrils, leaving no external scars.
In some cases, a septorhinoplasty, which combines septoplasty with rhinoplasty – the surgical shaping of the nose – may be performed for functional and cosmetic improvements.

Why choose Louisiana ENT for your deviated septum treatment?

Our ENT specialists are dedicated to providing a comprehensive approach to diagnosing and treating nasal septum deviations. With a patient-centered ethos, we ensure you receive a personalized treatment plan suited to your unique needs. We understand that each case is different and work closely with our patients to ensure they receive care that aligns with their lifestyle and health goals.

From the initial consultation to recovery, we are committed to offering the highest standard of care. Our use of cutting-edge techniques and a collaborative approach among our specialists means you receive the best possible outcome for your deviated septum. Choose us for a breath of fresh air in ENT care.

Background media

Septoplasty FAQs

What is the septoplasty procedure?

Septoplasty is a surgical procedure to correct a deviated nasal septum, the partition between the two nasal cavities. Ideally performed under general anesthesia, septoplasty involves a careful incision within the nostrils to avoid any external scarring. The surgeon delicately separates the mucous membrane from the underlying cartilage and bone, then trims, repositions and straightens the bent cartilage or bone.

What is the septorhinoplasty procedure?

Septorhinoplasty is typically performed under general anesthesia and may take several hours, depending on the complexity of the surgery. Post-operative recovery is generally more involved than a simple septoplasty, with a more extended period of swelling and healing required. However, this combined approach can significantly enhance both the function and overall aesthetic of the nose, resulting in improved breathing and facial harmony.

What is the recovery time?

After a septoplasty, patients can expect to experience some swelling and mild discomfort that can be managed with pain medication. Recovery usually involves taking it easy for several weeks, avoiding strenuous activities, and following the doctor's post-operative care instructions closely. Many with a deviated septum may never notice it, but for those who do experience symptoms, it can have a significant impact on their quality of life. Finding the right treatment plan is essential for managing symptoms and preventing complications.

With 6 convenient locations around the Louisiana area, we're never far away.

Find Your ENT Request Appointment
Contact us media
Accessibility: If you are vision-impaired or have some other impairment covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to using this website, please contact our Accessibility Manager at (225) 769-2222.