Diagnosis and treatment

The treatment of a nasal septum degeneration is a surgical correction of the nasal septum and is called a 'septoplasty'.

Goal of the procedure

The goal of this procedure is to straighten the nasal septum and to improve nasal circulation. The procedure should not be confused with a rhinophasty in which the bridge of the nose is corrrected, thus, aesthetic changes are made to the nose.

The procedure

The procedure is performed under general anaesthetic. Access to the nasal septum is gained via a small incision on the front of the nose. The scar is not visible after the procedure. Crooked pieces of cartilage and bone are removed and, if necessary, are replaced after remodelling.

A few sutures then close the incision in the nostril. If required, nasal tamponades, gauze or artificial plates may be placed against the septum in order to support it and to prevent any accumulation of blood (haematoma) from forming in the nasal septum. This material and the sutures will be removed during the post-operative appointments at the clinic.

A few sutures are sometimes left in place and will be reabsorbed on their own.

Any procedure carries the risk of complications, but fortunately these are very rare.
Some possible complications include:

  • nose: blood collection in the nasal septum (hematoma), infection, a small hole in the nasal septum, deformation of the septum, olfatory disorders and sensation disorders
  • teeth: numbness in the teeth
  • brain: cerebrospinal fluid leak
  • allergic reaction

After the procedure

After the procedure, your physician will prescribe the necessary medication and you will be given a nasal rinse kit and nasal salve to take home. Your physician will explain how you should use it. Post-operative care is very important for wound healing and will have a large impact on the end result.

You will have scheduled post-operative appointments during the weeks after the procedure in order to remove of the sutures, tamponades and plates. If required, mucous and scabs will be removed from the nose. Contact sports are prohibited for one month because the reconstructed nasal septum is still unstable.

Centres and specialist areas

Ear, nose, and throat diseases

Latest publication date: 28/06/2021
Supervising author: Dr Vermeiren Judith