Concerning disorders of the nose, obstructions and deviated septums are fairly common problems that can lead to breathing issues. In many cases, these symptoms can get worse later in the day and can cause patients to have restless and sleepless nights. Chronic nasal obstructions are caused by a number of factors such as allergies, narrow nasal passages, and misaligned septal structures.

These nasal structures include the septum and the turbinates. The septum is the structure that partitions the nasal passages into the right and left sides of the nose. The septum is made of cartilage and bone. The cartilage and bone of the septum are lined by a thin membrane called mucosa. This layer covers and protects the cartilage and bone and helps to keep the inside of the nose moist. If the septum is deviated, it can interrupt normal breathing and lead to snoring.

The turbinates are located near the septum with a cavity between the septum and turbinates to allow for efficient air passage. If the turbinates are too large, they can contribute to nasal obstruction and abnormal breathing. There are several different types of turbinates in the nose and of which, the inferior turbinates most commonly affect airflow.

The surgical procedure performed to straighten a deviated septum is called a septoplasty. The surgery may be performed in combination with other procedures to correct sleep apnea or to treat chronic sinusitis, inflammation, or bleeding. Septoplasty, a sought-after surgery in Orange County, also may be performed to allow access into the nose in order to facilitate the removal of growths such as nasal polyps. Generally, a septoplasty procedure is required only when chronic breathing problems or snoring are not corrected with nonsurgical treatment options.

Recovery

Upon recovery from a septoplasty procedure, patients can expect to feel pain, fatigue, nasal stuffiness, and drainage. Post-operative stuffiness typically results from swelling and generally starts to improve after the first week. Patients should not become concerned if they see mucus or even blood drainage of some mucus after surgery, for it is a normal part of the healing process.