Septoplasty

What is a septoplasty?

A septoplasty is a corrective surgical procedure done to straighten the nasal septum. It is a procedure that may be covered by your insurance.

Why do people get a septoplasty?

Ideally, the septum is completely straight down, evenly separating the two nasal cavities. For those in need of a septoplasty the septum deviates into one of the two cavities, narrowing it and impeding airflow.

What is the difference between a rhinoplasty and a septoplasty?

A septoplasty is a surgery on the septum that is performed in order to improve nasal breathing function. A cosmetic rhinoplasty is a surgery that is performed only to alter the aesthetic appearance of the nose. A reconstructive rhinoplasty is performed after some sort of traumatic accident, cancer involvement, a congenital abnormality, or a previous injudicious cosmetic surgery (to restore breathing back to normal). A dual rhinoplasty/septoplasty surgery is an option for patients who seek relief from troubled breathing as well as a cosmetic change in the appearance of their nose.

Am I a candidate for a septoplasty?

Once you have decided that you would like to have a septoplasty, you should first investigate whether or not you are a candidate for surgery. Although one should come in for a consultation to determine whether or not surgery is an option, here are a few of the reasons patients are typically turned away from our office:

  • Dr. McClellan does not perform any elective, cosmetic surgery on smokers. This is for a variety of reasons including poor wound healing and an increased risk of infection.
  • Body dysmorphic disorder is a condition in which a person is obsessed with reaching perfection in their bodies, typically by getting at least one surgery, but generally multiple surgeries. Someone with this condition is not likely a candidate for a rhinoplasty performed by Dr. McClellan because it is important for one to set realistic surgical goals.
  • Although there is no age limit on how old you must be in order to get a septoplasty, Dr. McClellan requires that patients are over the age of 18 in order to have this procedure.
  • If you have chronic sinus problems you may be a candidate for a septoplasty and should come in to our office for a consultation.

What are the risks involved with a septoplasty?

As with any surgery, there are risks involved with getting a septoplasty. Here is a brief list of a few of the possible risks:

  • Infection
  • Abnormal shape
  • Poor scarring
  • Nose bleeds

How is a septoplasty performed?

A septoplasty is performed at Monongalia General Hospital under general anesthesia. It is an “observational procedure” meaning that you are kept overnight and watched after surgery. Dr. McClellan performs an open procedure which means that incisions are made inside both of the nostrils and across the columella (the skin that separates the nostrils). The soft tissues that cover the nose are raised and the bone and cartilage support system is accessed so that changes may be made to the actual shape of the nose. Bone and/or cartilage are then removed so that the septum is straight, and does not deviate into either nasal cavity. The nasal skin is then re-draped, absorbent stents are placed, and the incisions are closed and a splint is placed. The procedure generally takes 1 to 2 hours.

What can I expect for recovery?

You will come to our office for your post operative visit 4 to 5 days after surgery. You will be given specific instructions when you are released from the hospital about how to care for your new nose until you come into our office. There may be significant swelling and bruising and it is important to keep your head up and ice as indicated. You may return to work 2 to 3 weeks following surgery, depending on the nature of work you do.

What should I expect at my initial consultation?

For a septoplasty consultation you should allow at least 30 minutes in our office. You may come about 15 minutes early to your appointment to fill out the necessary forms. During your consultation Dr. McClellan will give you more information about the septoplasty and answer any of your questions. It is often helpful to have a list of questions that you may have or something that you need clarification on.

After you meet with Dr. McClellan, you will then be escorted to Becky Miller’s office. She is our patient coordinator and will provide you with the price quote for the surgery as well as give you information about what financial options are available. As the patient coordinator, Becky makes every effort to ensure that you are ready and feel comfortable before surgery. This may include repeat visits to the office or answering any questions that you may have after your initial appointment.

Contact our office for more information.

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