Septoplasty is not a cosmetic surgery procedure, as those who suffer from a deviated septum will be getting surgery to correct a medical problem, rather than for aesthetic reasons.
Nonetheless, Septoplasty and Rhinoplasty are frequently combined by many patients. Often, it makes sense for patients with a deviated septum, and who wish to get a nose job, to get both procedures at the same time. This is especially the case when, as so often, the deviated septum was caused by an impact to the nose. The procedure used to address both form and function of the nose is known as Septorhinoplasty.
Rhinoplasty specialists will be quite competent to perform the Septoplasty procedure, as all plastic surgeons should be skilled at both the functional and aesthetic aspects, and if the patient is willing to travel abroad for surgery, the cost of Septoplasty and Rhinoplasty will be far lower than if the patient chose to get the surgery in their home country.
The septum is the bone and cartilage that separates the naval cavity into two nostrils. This is ordinarily symmetrical, so both of the nasal cavities are of a similar size, but in some instances, the septum is not central, instead deviating from the central line of the nose, sometimes causing an obstruction of the smaller of the two nasal passages, and in severe instances causing medical problems.
It should be added that in the majority of cases, a slightly deviated septum is not a problem, and is quite common, so should only be regarded as a medical issue if you are being adversely affected. The surgery used to treat a deviated septum is known as either Septoplasty surgery, or Submucous Resection.
Many people have a slightly deviated septum, and this goes undiagnosed for years. If you are not experiencing problems, then it is likely that there is no need for surgery to correct the septum. If however, you are experiencing frequent headaches or nosebleeds, are having problems breathing, due to restricted nasal passages, or are suffering form sleep disorders such as snoring or sleep apnea, then Septoplasty may be a wise option for you.
The Septoplasty procedure is quite a simple, straightforward one. It is regarded as a minor surgical procedure, although this does not of cause mean that you should be any less diligent when choosing your surgeon. The surgeon operates endoscopically, using a tube with a lens and a light to see what he is doing, and realigns bone and cartilage, sometimes cutting away obstructing matter in the nasal passages. Nasal splints or packing will probably be used temporarily, while the septum stabilises into its new position.
The procedure will generally take an hour or less, with the patient under either local or general anesthesia, if the operation is simply straightening the septum. Sometimes it is necessary or desirable to combine Septoplasty with Turbinate Reduction(reduction of the bones on each side of your nose) or Rhinoplasty.
As with all surgical procedures, there are some risks, even though Septoplasty is regarded as minor operation. Infection and excessive bleeding are always a possibility, as are complications due to anesthesia.
Rare, but possible complications specific to Septoplasty are the procedure failing to improve the condition, or even making it worse. This is always hard to tell immediately after the procedure, due to swelling, and will probably only become apparent some time after surgery. A perforated septum is one complication that occasionally occurs due to unsuccessful surgery.
As with all surgery, choosing a good clinic, and the best surgeon you can, will greatly reduce the risks.
The patient needs to be aware that there will a painful period of recovery. This should be lessened by the use of pain killers that your surgeon will prescribe for you. When the area that is operated on contains many elements, including bone, cartilage, muscle and skin, all of which swell after surgery, it is likely that you will experience prolonged swelling. As with Rhinoplasty, you will not be able to expect to see the final results of surgery until some time after the procedure.
How long it will take to recover after Septoplasty varies quite a lot, from as little as two days to as much as a month. This will depend on the extent of surgery. Where repair of the septum is combined with rhinoplasty or turbinate reduction surgery, there will be a longer recovery period.
A deviated septum frequently occurs in patients whose noses have received an impact, and may be broken, visibly crooked or with a noticeably bump on the bridge. Because of this, many people do choose to combine the cosmetic rhinoplasty procedure with the Septoplasty operation. This combination of the two procedures is often known as Septorhinoplasty. It does offer the patient an opportunity to get the nose job they may always have wanted, but more discreetly, under the guise of getting a Septoplasty. Since swelling and bruising will be expected anyway, one may be able to get both procedures, while family and friends are none-the-wiser about the aesthetic surgery. Men seem especially likely to combine the procedures in this way, due to some stigma still being attached to “vanity surgery”.
Septorhinoplasty is an excellent way of improving both the form and function of the nose, but at the end of the day, no-one should advise you to get Rhinoplasty along with Septoplasty surgery. If you are quite happy with the size and shape your nose, there is no good reason to get an unnecessary procedure, and incur the additional costs.
It is quite likely that you may be able to get your medical insurance provider to pay the costs of Septoplasty, if there is a sound medical reason why you need one. Likewise, if you live in a country with a national health service, there is the possibility of getting treatment funded by the state. Any aesthetic aspects to the surgery will be unlikely to be covered. If you will have to pay for treatment yourself, the cost in the US will be from $700 to thousands of dollars, depending on the extent of the surgery, and the expertise of the surgeon.
As you might expect, prices for Septoplasty Surgery can be far lower in some countries than others, and traveling overseas for treatment can potentially save you 70% or more of the costs.