A septoplasty is an operation to correct problems with the nasal septum. This is the piece of cartilage and bone that separates the two nostrels.
A septoplasty is usually recommended if the septum is bent to one side or the other and may be causing breathing problems or snoring. The septum can bend as a part of normal development, at birth or because of an injury.
A septoplasty is usually performed under general anaesthetic. Your surgeon will make an incision inside the nose, to one side of the septum.
The inner lining of the nose is lifted away from the cartilage and bone. The surgeon can then straighten the septum, or remove any parts that are causing obstruction.
Once this has been done, the lining is replaced and stitched in place. The operation usually lasts around half an hour, depending on how much work your surgeon needs to do on the septum.
After septoplasty surgery, your nose will feel blocked for a few days days, and there may be some numbness around the nose. This is almost always temporary. Very occasionally, there may be temporary bruising around the lower part of the eyes.
Septoplasty surgery is a generally safe operation. Complications of a septoplasty are uncommon but include swelling caused by blood collecting under the lining of the nose which may need further treatment.
Sometimes septoplasty results in a hole in the septum. This may not cause any problems, but further surgery may be recommended. In very rare cases, there may be a reduction or loss of the sense of smell. This is difficult to correct. The chance of complications depends on the exact type of operation you are having and other factors such as your general health.