Understanding and Treating a Deviated Nasal Septum

Deviated Nasal Septum

Comprehensive Guide to Septoplasty for Nasal Septum Deviation

Deviated Nasal Septum (DNS) occurs when the nasal septum, the structure that divides the nasal passage into left and right sides, is not centrally aligned. In most cases, there is a mild deviation in one direction, but when the deviation becomes severe, it is diagnosed as DNS. The symptoms associated with DNS include nasal blockage, occasional nasal bleeding, and nasal pain if the septum abuts a sensitive structure.

Addressing a deviated nasal septum typically requires surgical intervention, as medications are not effective in correcting the issue. The nasal septum is composed of a malleable anterior cartilage and a bony rear portion. DNS can manifest in various forms, such as being to one side, C-shaped, S-shaped, anterior, or posterior. Sharp bony projections are often referred to as spurs.

The surgical procedure to correct a deviated septum is known as Septoplasty, and it is now performed in a minimally invasive manner using nasal endoscopes. The surgery can be conducted under local anesthesia for anterior or limited deviations or under general anesthesia for more extensive cases. During the procedure, flaps are raised, the septum is brought to the midline, and various adjustments are made, including trimming duplicate cartilage parts, removing bony spurs, and addressing grossly deviated cartilaginous pieces.

Following the surgery, a nasal pack is typically placed for a day or two, with newer packs made of soft material and some containing a breathing tube. Post-operative visits to the surgeon are necessary, usually 2-3 times, and the benefits of the surgery become noticeable after 7-10 days.

While Septoplasty is generally a safe and successful procedure, like any surgery, it carries some potential complications such as bleeding, infection, nasal septal perforation, adhesion or synechiae formation, and external nasal deformity. Revision cases pose a higher risk for complications.

In summary, DNS is a common ENT problem that often requires surgical correction through Septoplasty. The procedure tends to yield positive results, although occasional complications should be considered. In some cases, additional procedures on tissues like the Inferior Turbinates may be necessary for comprehensive airway correction.