Septoplasty: Diagnosis, Preoperative, Risks, Procedure and Alternatives

It is a surgical procedure that is carried out to correct the deviated nasal septum.

Which is a displacement of the bone and cartilage that divides the two nostrils. A deviation of the septum may be due to deformations with which it is born or caused by an injury to the nose.

People with a deviated septum may have difficulty breathing and morphologically have a smaller nasal passage than the other. Surgery is the only way to repair a septum deviation.


The most common situations that may suggest the need to perform a septoplasty include:

  • Obstruction of the passage of air through the nose.
  • Deformity of the nasal septum.
  • The presence of septal spurs causes headaches.
  • Chronic and uncontrolled nosebleeds.
  • Chronic sinusitis is associated with the deviation of the septum.
  • Presence of obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Presence of polyps.
  • Existence of a tumor.


Anticoagulant medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, warfarin, and others should be suspended two weeks before surgery.

This is done to reduce the risk of excessive bleeding during and after the procedure.

Be sure to tell your doctor if you are allergic to certain medications or if you have a history of bleeding problems.

To program septoplasty, the following aspects should be taken into account:


  • Benefits and risks of surgery.
  • The patient’s clinical history is suffering from chronic diseases.
  • Physical examination of the skin and the inside and outside of the nose.
  • Photographs of the nose as a reference and to raise expectations.

No food should be consumed from the night before the procedure to avoid adverse reactions from anesthesia.


The risks of performing a septoplasty are relatively low because it does not involve vital organs or essential blood vessels but, in some aspects, is related to the dangers of other operations.

The potential risks of septoplasty include:

  • Excessive bleeding
  • Allergic reactions to anesthesia.
  • Postoperative pain, swelling, and presence of bruises.
  • Healing problems
  • Infections
  • Unwanted change in the shape of the nose.
  • Inability to improve symptoms or return of nasal blockages, which may require additional surgery.
  • The appearance of an opening in the wall of the partition.
  • Reduction of the sense of smell
  • Changes in the sensitivity of the skin.
  • Accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid inside the nose.


The surgical procedure of septoplasty lasts from one hour to an hour and a half; this will depend on the complexity of the condition.

The surgeon will cut one side of the inside of the nose wall to access the septum and expose the surgery area.

Subsequently, the protective mucous membrane covering the septum will be lifted.

Once the bone or cartilage, which causes the problem, is exposed, it will be replaced, all barriers removed, and additional pieces of bone or cartilage removed.

Once it is achieved, straighten the nasal septum will reposition in the middle of the nose.

Then, the surgeon will put the mucous membrane back in place and make sutures to keep it in place.

Splints or packing material will be placed to keep the septum in position.

This intervention is performed under general or local anesthesia; this will depend on the patient’s health conditions.

In addition to the aesthetic benefits, septoplasty, by straightening the septum, allows a better flow of air through the nostrils.


There are alternatives for some situations that usually require the realization of a septoplasty.

In allergic rhinitis or sinusitis, the breathing of the nasal airways can be improved by using nasal sprays, such as phenylephrine (NeoSynephrine).

In the case of patients suffering from chronic nasal bleeding, they can receive conservative treatment by identifying the source of the bleeding before contemplating surgery.

In cases of obstructive sleep apnea, there are currently a variety of alternatives, including weight loss, changes in sleeping postures, and the use of devices during sleep that expand the upper respiratory tract.