Monday, April 14, 2008

How to fix problems of a crooked nose

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The surgical procedure to treat problems associated with a crooked or deviated nose, such as chronic sinusitis, inflammation, bleeding, or sleep apnea, is termed septoplasty.

Septoplasty, submucous resection of the septum, or septal reconstruction is a corrective surgery to straighten or repair a deviated nasal septum - the wall between the two nasal passages. Usually the septum is straight and upright, and runs down the center of the nose. A deviated septum occurs when the cartilage or bone of the septum is not straight, thereby narrowing the cavity into which is deviates making breathing difficult. This condition can lead to snoring and sleep apnea, and in certain serious deviations may frequently lead to chronic sinus problems.

Septoplasty is necessary only when the problems associated with crooked nasal septum do not get better without surgery. The surgery may be done along with other procedures to treat chronic sinusitis, inflammation, or bleeding, or to correct sleep apnea. The procedure also may be done to allow access into the nose to remove nasal polyps.

The procedure usually involves an excision or cutting of a portion of the cartilage and/or bone surplus. Under general or local anesthesia, the surgeon works through the nostrils, making an incision in the lining of the septum to reach the cartilage targeted in the operation. Often an "L" strut of cartilage in the dorsal and caudal areas (1cm width or more) is preserved for structural support. After excess cartilage and bone have been taken out, the septum may then be stabilized with small plastic tubes, splints, or sutures. The operation takes about 60-90 minutes.

Considerable swelling and bruising can be expected. The nasal cavities may or may not be packed, and a piece of gauze is taped underneath the nose to absorb blood. Postoperative care includes frequent changing of this gauze (roughly every hour or so) and after 1 to 2 days, the excess bleeding normally stops and the inner nasal packing may be removed. The following day, saline irrigations of the nasal cavities are often advised, and the patient may be allowed to gently blow their nose. After 1 to 2 weeks, patients are allowed to blow their nose normally. Patients typically regain about 80% of their energy one week after the surgery.

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