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Correcting a Deviated Septum and the Shape of Your Nose

For many patients a deviated septum is a blessing in disguise. The deviated septum is an interior portion of your nose that is out of alignment making sinus infections more likely and in some cases making it hard to breathe normally through your nose. If you’re considering surgery to repair a deviated septum, it is also an excellent opportunity to repair the shape of your nose as well.

Nose Jobs and Deviated Septum

A nose job scheduled along with a septoplasty to repair a deviated septum just makes good sense. After all, much of the surgery is the same procedure, and adding a few extra elements to the deviated septum procedure makes it possible to come out of your surgery with a new means of breathing, reduced infections and allergies and a straightened nose as well.

The Deviated Septum Surgery

In the deviated septum procedure, the surgeon makes a small incision to reach the cartilage partition between the nostrils. The surgeon then trims and straightens the area to make it flush and straight. The surgeon then closes the incision again and the deviated septum procedure is complete.

This is essentially the same procedure that the surgeon would use as part of a nose job procedure. With the nose job, however, the surgeon will take the extra steps of breaking the nose or shaving down bone to reduce humps while also trimming away cartilage to make the nose shapelier. Best of all, the deviated septum surgery is covered by insurance, leaving patients just a bit left over to cover out of pocket for the rhinoplasty procedure.

 

Should My Child Have Surgery for a Deviated Septum?

A deviated septum can occur in different degrees of severity. While it may seem severe to hear that your child has a deviated septum, there may not be a rush to fix the condition surgically for several more years. Discuss the following symptoms with your pediatrician to see if intervention is necessary in your child’s unique condition.

Breathing

There are several impacts on natural breathing caused by a deviated septum. In some cases, babies and young children are simply unable to breathe at all through the nose. In milder cases, they may have a harder time getting a deep breath through the blocked nostrils. In both cases, it’s likely that your baby will be a “mouth breather.” If this is the case, it will make it very difficult for your little one to eat properly, to remain latched for nursing or to sleep well.

Disfigurement

While a deviated septum is simply a membrane in the nose being out of alignment, there are some cases where the shape and size of the nose makes the baby’s face somewhat disfigured. If the nose is unattractive or disfigured in a dramatic way due to the deviated septum, it may be worthwhile to correct the deformity early on in your child’s life when he will have little or no memory of the surgery and recovery.

Injury

If your child is born with a deviated septum, the severity of the injury will determine what is best in regards to surgery. If your child was injured in the nasal area and now has a deviated septum, surgery to correct the problem may be done very quickly to correct the nose while it is still broken to avoid additional surgery down the road.

 

The Rhinoplasty Consultation

When considering rhinoplasty, you can expect a lengthy consultation with a surgeon prior to actually arranging your procedure. This is not only to give the surgeon a chance to examine your nose and determine the best way to proceed, but to also give you a chance to discuss your concerns and to learn more about the procedure.

While you’re in the rhinoplasty consultation, you can expect to look into a mirror with the surgeon watching carefully beside you. You’ll be asked to point out exactly which elements of your nose you’d like to see improved. This is the starting point for your discussion with the surgeon and will give him a better idea of what changes you’re seeking and whether those are realistic.

The consultation will then turn to the elements of the surgery and questions about your nose and breathing issues that may have contributed to your decision. While the majority of rhinoplasty procedures are performed for cosmetic reasons there are some medical reasons that drive patients to consider nose surgery.

At some point during the consultation or perhaps at a follow-up appointment, the surgeon will provide a picture or computer image of your face along with your current nose and the new nose shape that you’re hoping to gain from the procedure. This picture will give you the best indication of all about what is reasonable to expect from the surgery and give you, the patient, the best understanding of what the surgery will yield in terms of results.

The final elements of the rhinoplasty consultation include the discussion of cost and setting the time frame for the surgery. The cost of rhinoplasty may be considerable and the surgeon may provide financing for the procedure or additional information about payment. Payment will be expected at the time of the procedure, which will be scheduled after the initial consultation.

Deviated Septum: Is Surgery Necessary?

For patients with a deviated septum, they may have been told for years to either live with the problem or face a complex surgery. For some who would rather avoid a full surgical procedure, they wonder if the deviated septum makes it necessary to undergo surgery or if the situation is one that is tolerable for a lifetime without interference. The short answer to this is: It depends.

The Deviated Septum

A deviated septum is straightforward. There is a wall of bone and cartilage between the two nostrils of the nose. When the top of this wall becomes bent out of position, it partially or fully obstructs an airway. This is called a deviated septum. The more crooked the membrane between the nostrils, the more severe the case of the deviated septum. For some patients with a severe case of a deviated septum, surgery may be the only real alternative.

Symptoms for Surgery

Patients who are not overly affected by a deviated septum are not necessary at need for a surgery. It is those with more substantial symptoms that would best benefit from the procedure.

Infections

A deviated septum can lead to many sinus infections. Patients who battle painful sinus pressure and infections stemming from the deviated septum will be sick frequently and only straightening out the septum can the area be opened up correctly to allow for proper drainage and overall health.

Breathing Concerns

We typically breathe through our noses using our mouths as a secondary source of breathing when we have a cold or if we’ve been engaged in strenuous exercise. For those with a severely deviated septum, it is difficult, if not impossible, to breathe through the nose. This makes it medically necessary in many cases for surgeons to open up the airways through surgery for the septum.

Reasons for Rhinoplasty

Patients considering rhinoplasty are usually painted as those who don’t like their noses. While this is true in many cases, there are other reasons that individuals seek out rhinoplasty as well. While the reasons may vary for the patients, the rationale does not. Patients seeking rhinoplasty use the surgery to fix the problem they are facing.

Deviated Septum

Many rhinoplasty patients pursue the procedure to adjust a breathing problem. The septum of the nose, or the column of bone between the nostrils can become bent over the course of a person’s lifetime. In some cases, the septum doesn’t form properly early on leaving a patient with a deviated septum for a lifetime. In other cases, the deviated septum develops later as a result of an injury. In either case, a severe incident of a deviated septum requires surgery to resolve.

In the surgery to resolve the deviated septum, the nose is often opened and work is done that is very similar – if not identical – to the procedure for rhinoplasty. In fact, many of the trimming done in rhinoplasty is necessary as part of the deviated septum surgery. Many deviated septum patients emerge with a new, shapely nose as a result of the surgery.

Symmetry

Many other patients seek rhinoplasty as a way to achieve greater balance and symmetry on their faces. Large noses detract from the face and can feel out of balance. Rhinoplasty can help to reshape these noses leaving patients feeling more confident and attractive. Through rhinoplasty, surgeons are able to narrow or widen the nose and shape it with greater balance so that the face is as shapely as possible with a natural nose to anchor it.