The interior of the nose is separated into two chambers by a partition made of cartilage and bone, known as the septum. Sometimes this wall is crooked, or deviated, from birth, while other times it may incur defects due to an injury. Drug addiction may also play a role in damaging the septum. As a result, a patient may experience obstructed breathing, sinus infections, postnasal drip, headaches and even nosebleeds. Persons with a deviated septum may breathe noisily during the day and snore at night. Insomnia, or sleep apnea, is a common complaint as well. If you're interested in a deviated septum surgery in NYC, visit Dr. Kwak for a consultation.
Although sleep aids, decongestants and allergy medications may provide some temporary relief for these troublesome symptoms, only the septoplasty procedure can permanently correct the source of the problem, straightening out the septum cartilage in order to relieve the blockage. Septoplasty is most often accompanied by rhinoplasty, for cosmetic changes. However, if the patient does not wish to make any cosmetic changes to the exterior of the nose, septoplasty can be performed on its own, or in conjunction with sinus or nasal valve surgery.
Septoplasty can be performed under general or local anesthesia at an ambulatory surgical center or affiliated hospital, and generally takes about 2 hours. Unlike most cosmetic procedures, septoplasty in New York is usually covered in full by insurance companies.
As with rhinoplasty, the surgeon can choose to either perform an open septoplasty, leaving a small scar at the base of the nostrils, or a closed procedure, with all incisions made invisibly inside the nose.
After the incision is made, the mucus membrane covering the septum partition is elevated, exposing the bone and cartilage, which can then be reshaped, or in some cases partially removed. With the breathing passageways successfully cleared, the mucus membrane is then sutured back into place, accompanied by splints or packing.
Scores of deviated septum clients have experienced restored breathing and nasal functioning as a result of Dr. Kwak’s expertise. Septoplasty in NYC is a technically demanding, complex procedure requiring a background in both facial plastic surgery and ear, nose and throat medicine (otolaryngology). As such, choosing a double certified specialist such as Dr. Kwak--who has spent thousands of hours in training, residency and practice focused exclusively on the nose--ensures the most precise and successful outcomes.
Every NYC septoplasty begins with a detailed private consultation, during which Dr. Kwak will assess your medical records, prior surgeries, any medications or supplements you may be taking, your anesthesia preferences, and your goals for the procedure. This is a good time to let the doctor know of any allergies or discomfort you may be experiencing. Once he has formulated your customized treatment plan, Dr. Kwak will walk you through what to expect from start to finish.
The Difference Between a Rhinoplasty and a Septoplasty
If you’re not a specialist, and you’ve never really investigated the subject of nose surgery, it might be easy to view any “nose job” as pretty much the same sort of procedure.
While it’s true that the term “rhinoplasty” can be applied to the whole topic of nose surgery, including procedures that are strictly for cosmetic purposes, the word “septoplasty” has a very specific meaning.
There is a wall of cartilage and bone inside your nose that separates your nostrils. This is known as the septum. If this wall is moved too far too one side, you don’t really have two functioning nostrils. This is known as a “deviated septum.”
Some people are born with this condition, but an injury to the nose can also push the septum out of place.
Problems from a Deviated Septum
As you might imagine, having one side of your nose constantly blocked can create problems. Aside from the most obvious one – difficulty breathing – individuals with a deviated septum can experience the following:
- Frequent nosebleeds
- A dry mouth, as a consequence of regularly breathing through the mouth
- Sleeping difficulties resulting from breathing problems
- Regular sinus infections, which clearly do not help with breathing problems
Septoplasty is a surgical procedure in which the septum is moved into its normal position, enabling the patient to breathe normally. This is not a cosmetic procedure, but a surgery undertaken to restore normal function of the nose.
Am I a Candidate for this Procedure?
Not every deviated septum is sufficiently out of place to cause problems that require surgery. However, if you experience the following symptoms, this procedure could bring relief to you:
- You have significant trouble breathing.
- You can’t sleep through the night because you are not able to breathe properly.
- You have a persistent stuffy nose.
- You are an excessive snorer, even to the extent that your snoring is preventing your spouse or partner from being able to sleep comfortably, and your quality of sleep is affected.