The nasal cavity is probably the most important organ in the upper respiratory tract, as normal breathing and therefore the proper oxygenation of the body are effected through this. A prerequisite for effortless and complete breathing is that there is sufficient space inside this (without strictures or further obstacles) to allow the entry and exit of inhaled ambient air.
Many times, however, breathing may become difficult, usually because of a deviated nasal septum.
What is the nasal septum?
The nasal septum is the partition at the centre of the nose, which divides the nasal cavity into a left and right part (nostrils). A normal nasal septum is straight, with a course perpendicular to the face. Any distortion or displacement observed in the area of the nasal cavity can completely occlude its cavity, preventing the free entry of air into the two nostrils.
A large proportion of patients become used to this condition, since there is no benchmark, and may breathe “wrongly” for a long time. This leads to headaches, coughing, fatigue, snoring, ear problems. On the other hand, patients with chronic problems such as allergic rhinitis or asthma suffer even more from this type of respiratory problem.
What are the possible causes leading to deviation?
1. Injury or trauma during one’s life
2. Undesired effect after unsuccessful surgery
It is important to note that a deviation may be observed in the anterior cartilaginous part of the septum or its posterior bony part, or both. It is usually C- or S-shaped.
A deviated nasal septum is the cause of many symptoms, including:
1. Poor sleep, snoring
2. Nasal congestion, which routinely impedes breathing
3. Undue fatigue, which occurs as a direct result of poor oxygenation
4.Triggering of headaches
5. Partial anosmia, since the air does not easily reach the olfactory mucosa of the nasal cavity
The above symptoms are very similar to those observed in acute and allergic rhinitis, in the case of nasal polyps and in many other disorders. Endoscopy by an Otolaryngologist will lead to accurate and fast diagnosis.
Surgery for straightening nasal septums
If the patient experiences the above symptoms continuously, the proposed treatment and restoration method concerns the straightening of the deviated nasal septum and its normalisation by nasal septum plastic surgery, a method performed intranasally. The surgical operation is performed under general anaesthesia, after making a small incision inside the nose. In specific, if needed, the bone or cartilage deviated nasal sections are removed, they are rectified and placed back in position.
The surgery does not take more than an hour and, at the discretion of the physician, the patient stays at most one day at the clinic. If the person is young and healthy, his stay at the clinic may not even be necessary.
Allowed age groups: Operations on the septum can usually be conducted at any age after 14 years, as endoscopic techniques are minimally invasive.
Complications are very rare and usually concern nosebleeds, which can be prevented if the patient is not exposed to sunlight and does not strain himself for a reasonable period of time.
What should you know after the operation?
1. It will be necessary to breathe through your mouth for a few days
2. Food is allowed immediately post-surgery, provided that it is lukewarm
3.There is no pain! 4. There is no swelling in the area.
5. You are not allowed to blow your nose for about a week
Frequently asked questions about septum surgery
Will I be in pain after surgery?
Not with the new endoscopic method, because due to the magnification used, it belongs to minimally invasive techniques.
Will I have bruises or swelling after surgery?
No, because the manipulations in the endoscopic method are more atraumatic.
Will I experience a headache or dizziness?
No, because the modern materials we use for capping are very gentle.
What should I avoid after surgery and for how many days?
Swimming in swimming pools, lifting weights at the gym, air travel and bending over for about 15 days after surgery.
Can my septum deviate again?
No, if all areas of the nasal septum are operated and if the turbinates are also managed.
What are the possible complications after surgery?
Bleeding from the nose may be caused, but this in practice happens when the patient does not comply with the postoperative instructions already mentioned.
How soon can a patient return to work after surgery?
As of the 3rd-4th postoperative day, patients can return to office work, but not to manual labour for 15-20 days.
We live in an era with a hectic everyday routine. Apart from common functional problems, difficulty in breathing may also cause stress and discomfort. Treat all nasal cavity disorders with the help of science and breathe freely, every moment!