A member asked:

How, exactly, does a septoplasty fix a deviated septum? does the surgeon take off some cartilate from the side with the smaller nostril? actually cut off and move the whole septum? i'm confused and don't really understand the explanations i've read.

3 doctors weighed in across 2 answers
Dr. Thomas Lamperti answered

Specializes in Facial Plastic Surgery

A : A standard septoplasty usually involves removing the deviated cartilage and bone that makes up the septum. The remaining cartilage and bone that is not deviated is left alone. The skin lining on either side of the septum is then sutured to itself so you still have an intact wall to separate both side of your nose. If the septum is deviated toward the outer edge near where the nostrils start the a different approach is needed since this cartilage can't just be cut out. Depending on the situation and surgeon preference the cartilage in that area can be repositioned or rebuilt. I tend to do the later (caudal septal reconstrution) if the deviation is relatively significant as i feel it gives better long term results.

Answered 10/3/2016

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A : A septoplasty involves a lot of different types of manipulation to the septal cartilage. The main thing that happens is the cartilage is released from the surrounding tissues and then put back into alignment. Sometimes the septum will have pieces removed that are distorted or bent and can not be made straight. Generally, most of the septum will be maintained if it will sit straight in the middle. After the cartilage is aligned then the overlying covering will be put back in place. Best wishes dr. Peterson.

Answered 10/4/2016

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