At The London Clinic, we offer surgery to correct a deviated septum in a procedure known as a septoplasty.This operation is performed by our surgeons who specialise in the treatment of conditions affecting your ear, nose or throat.

In some cases of deviated septum, your ability to breathe properly is affected, and so surgery may be required to correct your septum’s alignment.

How is a deviated nasal septum diagnosed?

In severe cases, a deviated nasal septum is obvious from external examination of the nose and nostrils but in most people a full examination of the septum is necessary.

Your GP or ear, nose and throat specialist will do this by first clearing your nose with a decongestant spray and then inspecting the interior of the nostrils with a small nasal endoscope.

Treatment options for a deviated septum

Nasal decongestants and other sprays can provide significant relief of your symptoms if the deviated nasal septum is mild and you have associated nasal allergies (such as to pollen). Temporary stick on strips external to the nostrils can help with the airway but internal nasal dilators (a plastic or metal device similar in appearance to a nose ring which pushes your nostrils apart) are rarely effective.

You may also need antibiotics or other medication to treat any local infection involving the mucous membrane and any sinus disease if present.

These measures will help but long-term relief requires surgery. The most common operation to correct a deviated nasal septum is known as a septoplasty, or if the external nose needs repair, a septorhinoplasty. This latter term is commonly applied to cosmetic surgery on the nose, but a rhinoplasty can be done for medical or cosmetic reasons, or both.

Rhinoplasty surgery is done endoscopically through the nostrils or via a small incision at the base of the nose and may be endoscopically assisted. The internal cartilage is restructured and repositioned, so that air can flow more freely through the nostrils and the sinus cavities.

A septoplasty realigns the septum in your nasal cavity. The septum is made up of a central bone covered by a mucous membrane, while the front portion is made up of cartilage covered by skin supplied by numerous blood vessels. Because cartilage on your nose continues to grow up until the age of 18, this operation is usually only performed on adults.

Having a septoplasty - what to expect

A septoplasty usually takes up to one and a half hours and can be done using either local or general anaesthetic. The procedure doesn’t involve any incisions but is rather done through the inside of your nose. The majority of nasal surgery is done endoscopically (with a long flexible tube which has a camera at one end).

During the operation, your surgeon will readjust or reinsert bone and cartilage to return the septum to its original position. In severe cases, your surgeon may even remove parts of your septum entirely. After this is completed, your surgeon will use nasal packing in order to prevent excessive bleeding.

Recovering from surgery for a deviated septum

Because a septoplasty is a fairly minor procedure, you will usually be discharged from the hospitalon the same day. If you’ve had general anaesthetic, you’ll need time to recover from its effects before being discharged. You may experience some pain in the nasal area for a few daysfor which your doctor may prescribe minor painkillers for you to take.

Most people note an immediate improvement in breathing after the operation. You may also notice an improved sense of smell and taste, increased energy and more restful sleep. If you are having an operation as a result of allergies, it’s important to continue treating those even after your septoplasty has been performed.

Making an enquiry

For more information about a private deviated septum treatment at The London Clinic please click here and complete the enquiry form or call +44 (0) 207 616 7693.