The nasal septum is the partition that separates the right and left sides of the nasal chamber. Once air enters either the right or left nostril, it will stay on that side of the nose until it reaches the end of the nasal passage. At this point the air hits the back of the nasopharynx, travels downward behind the tongue and into the voice box (larynx) before entering the lungs.
Any deviation of the nasal septum, either due to trauma or abnormal development, can affect the appearance of the nose. In cases like this, it is important to address the correction of the nasal septal deviation to ensure a good cosmetic result on your rhinoplasty. In addition, the septum can adversely affect breathing if it is deviated. Many patients with concerns about the appearance of their nose also have breathing issues which can be addressed at the same time.
The septum is also a good source of material for grafting of the nose when it is indicated. This can be particularly important in secondary rhinoplasty as well as some noses with difficult to correct nasal tip deformities. Fort Lauderdale plastic surgeon Dr. Jon Harrell will assess your history of breathing problems and examine the septum to determine if it would be necessary or desirable to correct septal deviations.
Operating on the Nasal Septum
The septum is usually approached through a small incision inside the nose on one side or the other. The skin of the septum is elevated off of the bone and cartilage so that the anatomy is revealed entirely. At this point, the cartilage can be freed from its attachments to the bony portion of the septum and can be weakened to reduce any abnormal curves or bends.
Occasionally, it may be necessary to remove a portion of the septum when it is severely deformed. Usually only the portion of the septum that is not offering support to the nose will be removed. It is important to leave the remaining septum in place to ensure adequate support of the nose. Once the septum is reasonably corrected, the incision is closed with absorbable sutures. Usually, no packing is necessary after this kind of surgery.
Please contact the Weston Center for Aesthetic Medicine and Surgery today to schedule your initial consultation. Dr. Jon Harrell serves patients in Weston, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Plantation, and Davie, Florida.