Help for Your Deviated Septum

The reason you have two distinct nasal passages is because there’s a thin wall of cartilage separating them called the septum. When it runs down the center, you breathe freely, but if it leans to the left or right, you have a deviated septum — and considerable problems to go along with it.

Dr. Robert A. Guida, our double board-certified plastic surgeon, specializes in repairing and reshaping noses for health and aesthetics. When it comes to deviated septa, patients throughout New York seek Dr. Guida’s expertise and skilled hands to fix their problem noses. If your septum is out of whack, here’s what you need to know.

What’s the big deal about a deviated septum?

Although some people are born with a deviated septum, it’s more often the result of a sports injury or car accident. About 80% of American adults are walking around with a wonky septum, but many of them are unaware of it. It’s possible to have a deviated septum without knowing it, as symptoms aren’t always present, but when they appear, they can be very disruptive. You may notice:

Another sign of a deviated septum is being aware of your nasal cycle. Healthy nasal passages go through a cycle of slight blockage on one side and then the other, but it’s so subtle, you don’t even notice it. If you do notice it, it may indicate a deviated septum.

Clearly, none of these symptoms are life-threatening, which is why many people choose to live with their deviated septum rather than having it fixed. But in some cases, an untreated deviated septum can lead to complications, such as:

To avoid these more serious problems, it’s best to come in and have Dr. Guida take a look at your septum to determine if treatment is necessary.

What can be done for a deviated septum?

Dr. Guida performs a brief surgical procedure called a septoplasty to correct your deviated septum. He starts by making a small incision inside your nostril, so you won’t have a scar. He then gently lifts the protective mucus membrane layer to access the cartilage so he can straighten or repair it.

A few sutures hold the repositioned septum in place. While some surgeons pack your nose with gauze to maintain the positioning, Dr. Guida prefers to let the sutures do that work so you can breathe more freely during recovery.

By the time you get home after your septoplasty, your nasal passages will have swollen up and made it hard to breathe, so you’ll be doing some mouth-breathing for a little while. This stage could last a week or two, but there’s light — and air — at the end of the tunnel. Once the inflammation has subsided, you can breathe and sleep normally again.

While we’re at it — consider rhinoplasty, too

Many of our patients take advantage of their septoplasty and add on a rhinoplasty procedure while they’re at it. If you’ve been wanting to smooth out a bump, hook, or droop in your nose, now’s the time to do it and take care of two problems at once.

When you’re ready to clear the way and breathe freely, call us at either our Staten Island or New York, New York office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Guida, or book it online today. 

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