The wall of cartilage that separates the two nasal cavities is known as the nasal septum. Occasionally, the septum is displaced, or deviated, most commonly due to injury or a congenital defect, and this can cause issues such as chronic headaches, stuffiness, snoring, and a crooked nose. Rhinoplasty is often the only solution for those with a deviated septum.
Many are familiar with nose jobs for correcting cosmetic issues, and those with a deviated septum may have aesthetic improvements made while the cosmetic surgeon repairs the septum. As Dr. Drew Ordon of The Doctors discussed today, the rhinoplasty procedure takes several different forms based on the level of septum deviation and what kind of cosmetic correction is needed. The cartilage may be straightened or the septum may be removed and replaced with a stint. Often, repairing a deviated septum is considered medically necessary and is covered by insurance.
The patient may undergo general or local anesthesia, depending on how much work needs to be done. The nasal cavity is typically packed with splints following surgery to support the septum, and these are removed in about 2-3 days. Bruising and pain are to be expected and should subside within about 3 weeks. Most patients are able to return to work after about 3 days.