What is Septum Surgery?
While a deviated septum is often thought to be just a cover for a nose job in Hollywood, it is also a real medical problem. Ideally, the septum (the wall of cartilage separating the nostrils) should run down the center of the nose, but when it angles into one of the cavities, it reduces airflow by narrowing that cavity. Often the inferior turbinate on the opposite side enlarges, which is known as compensatory hypertrophy. Not only is a deviated septum extremely uncomfortable, but it can lead to nasal obstruction. Septoplasty is a corrective surgical procedure done to straighten the nasal septum for improved breathing and general nasal function. Some people are born with septum problems, but many times the septum needs to be fixed after an accident or injury that has caused a deviated septum. At Alford Facial Plastic Surgery in Houston, TX double board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Eugene "Gene" Alford is skilled in functional nasal surgery like septoplasty to repair a deviated septum and improve breathing.
"Dr. Alford is my favorite doctor of all time, and I've had a LOT of doctors. When others docs told me there was nothing they could do to repair my nose after cancer resection caused it to deviate and sit beneath my eye, he scoffed and said he could help. His life experiences have made him a doctor with rare insight into what his patients are experiencing ... losing the life we once had, handling depression, and trying to make the most of what we have. He is a kind and gentle man but tells the truth about expectations. I cannot say enough good things about him. If you have found him and decide to be one of his patients, you are a lucky person indeed."- S.H. / Google / Apr 06, 2018
"Gene Alford is always honest and trustworthy, which is why I respect his opinion."- Anonymous / Office Visit / Jan 15, 2018
"Facial and Nose Reconstruction - Dr. Alford is my favorite doctor of all time, and I've had a LOT of doctors. When others docs told me there was nothing they could do to repair my nose after cancer resection caused it to deviate and sit beneath my eye, he scoffed and said he could help. He has been involved in four reconstructive surgeries (so far) to piece my face back together, the last of which (Phase 3 of a forehead..."- S. / RealSelf / Apr 06, 2018
"Dr Alford has been my ENT for almost 20 years. I would not ever see anyone else! He is very high skill, highly compassionate and great bedside manner."- T.F. / Google / Mar 30, 2018
"Dr Alford did an amazing job with my recent neck and face lift. I am 57 yo and wanted to have the surgery done before it was so evident I needed it. I had very slight bruising after 3 days, i am so happy and my face looks 20 years younger, without looking like I had anything done. He has skill in determining how to make the face and neck look more youthful by adding back fat to areas which have recessed due to age. My profile looks like my photos from age 35."- D.F. / Healthgrades / Mar 29, 2018
During a septoplasty, double board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Gene" will both remove and realign a portion of the bone and/or cartilage in the nasal cavity. With the patient under general anesthesia, and working through the nostrils, Dr. Gene will make an incision in the lining of the septum in order to reach the targeted area. After the septum is straightened, it may then be stabilized temporarily with small plastic tubes, splints, or stitches inside the nose. The entire procedure takes about 1 – 2 hours, not including recovery time.
Septum surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure, so you will be released to a responsible adult who will take you home for your recovery once you have been approved by Dr. Gene to leave. You should schedule a follow-up appointment 1 week after your surgery at Dr. Gene’s office so he can assess your condition and results. Most patients need about 1 – 2 weeks for recovery after septoplasty before resuming normal activities.
Like other nose surgeries, the results of a septoplasty will have lasting results, unless your nose is altered by an injury after your nasal surgery. You will begin to notice better airflow and a decrease in your symptoms once Dr. Gene removes the nasal splints or packing. Septum surgery may also alter the cosmetic appearance of the nose.
What does Septum Surgery Cost?
A septoplasty is usually performed to correct the medical problems and symptoms caused by a severely deviated septum, so the cost is generally covered by medical insurance. The office staff of Alford Facial Plastic Surgery will work with your insurance company to get your maximum benefits and determine an estimate of your out-of-pocket expenses.
Plan Your Procedure
- Recovery Time
- 1 - 2 Weeks
- Average Procedure Time
- 2 Hours
- Post-op Follow-up
- 1 Week
- Procedure Recovery Location
Septum Surgery FAQs
- Blocked nasal passage
- Chronic congestion
- Chronic dry nose
- Injury or accident to nose
- Nasal discharge
- Post-nasal drip
- Septal abnormality
- Severely deviated septum
- Sleep apnea
- Trouble breathing
While most people have some degree of septum deviation, septoplasty is best for patients who are experiencing medical problems (like trouble breathing or sleep apnea) to correct a severely deviated septum. Usually, patients with a deviated septum will have tried nonsurgical treatments, like medications of nasal sprays, with unsuccessful or incomplete results.
Incisions and Scars?
The incisions made for septum surgery are made inside the nose, so they will not be visible during your recovery or after your healing is complete. It is important to keep the stitches clean and properly treated during recovery to ensure smooth, flat scars that do not obstruct the nasal passage. Dr. Gene will go over scar care management and recovery tips before and after your surgery.
Septum surgery may be combined with another nose surgery, such as sinus surgery, rhinoplasty, or revision rhinoplasty. Septoplasty may also be combined with an elective cosmetic surgery, such as a facelift or eyelid lift to save money on certain fees and combine recovery times.