A deviated septum is common and can have an impact on your ability to breathe correctly, leading to loud snoring and sleep apnea. The septum is a wall, which divides the two nasal passages in your nose. It’s responsible for directing airflow and comprised of cartilage in the front portion of your nose and bone in the back. A naturally straight septum is rare and nasal septal surgery (septoplasty) is often required to fix a crooked (deviated) septum.
A bent or crooked septum can alter the appearance of your nose, and our plastic surgeon can address your functional problems with nasal septal surgery and your cosmetic concerns with a rhinoplasty.
If you have difficulty breathing due to a crooked septum or are unhappy with the appearance of your nose, please contact our board-certified plastic surgeon in Weston today at (954) 526-0066 to schedule your consultation. The Weston Center for Aesthetic Medicine and Surgery serves clients in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Plantation and surrounding areas of Florida.
How Does the Nasal Septum Work?
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.
A deviated septum involves a slight to severe bend in the nasal passage and can be caused by:
- Normal development during childhood or puberty.
- An injury at birth.
- A broken nose.
How is Septoplasty Performed?
Nasal septal surgery typically takes between 60 and 90 minutes to complete. This procedure is done under local or general anesthesia, depending on the patient and the state of their septum. A small incision will be made to temporarily remove the soft tissue (nasal mucosa), which lines your nasal passages and septum. This tissue is elevated off of the bone and cartilage to reveal the entire anatomy of your nose and nasal passage.
Once the tissue of your septum has been lifted, our plastic surgeon, Dr. Jon Harrell, will straighten or trim down the bent cartilage. If part of your septum is severely disfigured, Dr. Harrell may need to remove a portion of the cartilage, but only the part that doesn’t provide support to your nose will be removed—This ensures your nose will maintain adequate support.
The soft tissue skin of your nasal passage will be placed back over the bone and cartilage once the septum has been corrected using absorbable sutures. The septum is also a good source of material for grafting of the nose when it is indicated. This material can be particularly important in secondary rhinoplasty as well as some noses with difficult-to-correct nasal tip deformities.
Septoplasty Vs. Rhinoplasty
A septoplasty is performed to correct a deviated septum, which has caused breathing difficulties, snoring or sleep apnea. The sole purpose of a septoplasty is to restore proper function. A rhinoplasty is a facial cosmetic surgery performed to improve the appearance of your nose such as a nose hump, wide nose or crooked nose without deviation of the septum.
If you’re unhappy with the appearance of your nose, a rhinoplasty could be the right option for you, but if you also have a deviated septum, it will need to be corrected to give way for the best cosmetic results. Septoplasty and rhinoplasty are often performed together.
Will Insurance Pay for My Septoplasty?
Health insurance providers will likely cover the cost of nasal septal surgery, but not a rhinoplasty. Any nose surgery performed to alleviate breathing difficulty will typically be covered by insurance. However, a rhinoplasty focuses on the aesthetics of your nose, not the function, and is rarely covered by insurance plans.
Schedule a Consultation With Our Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Harrell specializes in nose surgery and can alleviate any breathing difficulties or cosmetic concerns you may have regarding your nose. Schedule your consultation at our Weston office today at (954) 526-0066 or contact us through the form located on this page.
The Weston Center for Aesthetic Medicine & Surgery serves clients in Weston and surrounding Florida areas including Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Plantation and Davie.