Deviated Septum

The shape of your nasal cavity could be the cause of chronic sinusitis. The nasal septum is the wall dividing the nasal cavity into halves; it is composed of a central supporting skeleton covered on each side by mucous membrane. The front portion of this natural partition is a firm but bendable structure made mostly of cartilage and is covered by skin with a substantial supply of blood vessels. The ideal nasal septum is exactly midline, separating the left and right sides of the nose into passageways of equal size. Another shape can cause nasal obstruction, mouth breathing, snoring and facial pressure. Along with the nasal turbinates nasal airfow is regulated. Frequently, the size and swelling of the turbinates needs to be corrected with septal repair.

Eptoplasty is the preferred surgical treatment to correct a deviated septum. Septal deviations may be an inherited abnormality or occur due to nasal trauma.

A deviated septum may cause one or more of the following:

  • Blockage of one or both nostrils
  • Nasal congestion, sometimes one-sided
  • Frequent nosebleeds
  • Frequent sinus infections
  • Facial pain, headaches, postnasal drip
  • Noisy breathing during sleep

A nasal exam is conducted in a doctor’s office with a small telescope. If there are sinus complaints, a CT scan or X-ray will be conducted. Nasal turbinate size and configuration and the presence of any polyps is noted.

Surgical treatment involves straightening of the septum, placing it in midline position, and usually reducing the turbinate tissue to give a large free airflow. Laser is used during this 30 minute procedure. No intranasal packing is used so the patient has immediate improvement. In most cases patients can return to work in 24 hours.

For more information about deviated septum, Dr. Michael Pickford or Gwinnett ENT, please call us at 678-312-7390.