The septum is the name given to the cartilage which sits in the middle of your nose, dividing the nose into the left and right nostrils. It is very common to have a bent septum – the vast majority of people do not have a perfectly straight septum. Most people do not need to have their septum operated on, however if your septum is deviated / bent then you may need to have a septoplasty to improve the breathing through your nose.
Dr Robinson has co-authored a book chapter with Dr Raymond Sacks about the techniques of septoplasty.
Symptoms of a deviated septum
The main symptom of a deviated septum is having a blocked nose. You may find that your nose is more blocked on one side, which usually corresponds to the side the septum is deviated to.
If you suspect you have a blocked nose from a deviated septum then Dr Robinson will take a history from you including any history of previous trauma to the nose or previous operations on the nose. Following this Dr Robinson will examine your nose and may be able to show you in his rooms the deviation of your septum, if that is what is causing the blocked nose.
When you have a deviated septum the only real options for improving the breathing through your nose is to have a septoplasty. A septoplasty involves removing a deviation of the cartilage in the middle of your nose whilst maintaining the support of your nose.
The procedure is performed under general anaesthetic and can be performed as a day procedure. The steps of the operation include:
- Raise the mucosal plane (lining which lies over the septum)
- Exposure the area of the septum which is deviated
- Remove the deviated area of the septum whilst preserving the supports of the nose
- Closure of the mucosal plane with dissolving sutures
- Perform a turbinoplasty (reduce the inferior turbinates)
- Placement of temporary splints in nose
Dr Robinson routinely performs a turbinoplasty at the same time as a septoplasty to maximise the nasal airway.
Pre operative instructions
Dr Robinson will need you to cease all anticoagulation (blood thinners) 10 days prior to the operation.
Post operative care
Post operatively Dr Robinson will give you some antibiotics as a saline douche to use in your nose. It is very important that you use the saline douche post operatively as this enhances post operative outcomes after you have had a septoplasty and turbinoplasty performed.
Dr Robinson will see you approximately one week post operatively and then again 6 weeks post operatively.