Having a deviated septum, a condition associated with an imbalance in the position of the bone and cartilage of the nose as a result of either injury or birth-related complications can lead to difficulties in breathing due to blockage of airways, headaches, nose bleeding and sleep problems such as snoring and sleep apnea. Treatment of a deviated septum involves a surgical procedure known as septoplasty. It’s an aesthetic enhancement of the nose that involves correcting the nasal cavity deformities by straightening the septum by the use of nose splints.
The two main nose splints available are;
•Internal nose splints that are used inside the nose to support and protect the corrected septum in the new position by minimising adhesion due to their anti-adhesive properties.
•External nose splints that are placed on the outer part of the nose with self-adhesive properties.
Nose splints deviated septum procedure
There are various steps involved in the treatment of a deviated septum using nose splints and these include;
The surgeon will physically evaluate the patient’s condition and if needed, some tests are run including imaging tests such as X-ray which will help in developing the treatment plan.
•Administration of anaesthesia
Depending on the preference, general or local anaesthesia is administered that will sedate the patient for comfortability during the surgical procedure.
The procedure takes an average of one hour and it involves the surgeon making incisions in between the nostrils that will enable the doctor to view the inside of the nose by lifting up the membrane protecting the septum and aligning the deviated septum into the right position by reshaping the bone and cartilage.
Nose splints are then stitched inside the nose to help in supporting the repositioned septum during the healing process although they can be uncomfortable at times.
The mucous membrane is then returned into position and the incisions closed.
Nose splints deviated septum recovery and post-surgical care
After the procedure, the patient is taken to a recovery room where they are monitored for a few hours and can be discharged to go home afterwards.
The patient is given pain medications after the surgery for pain control during the first few days of the surgery.
Antibiotics are also given to prevent infections associated with the nasal splints inside the nose which can be removed after one week.
Medications associated with blood thinning such as aspirin and ibuprofen should be avoided to reduce the risk of excessive bleeding.
Complete healing is expected to occur between three and six months.
Risks associated with deviated septum treatment
•Use of nasal splints if not properly taken care of can lead to infection.
•Bleeding is likely to occur after the surgery.
•Numbness in the upper teeth due to damage of nerves during the procedure.