Dr. Jay Calvert, Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon, corrects the deviated septum with an operation called septoplasty. A septoplasty is an operation where the septum of the nose is modified, moved, or changed in some way. The nasal septum is the structure that separates the right and left nasal passages and is composed of cartilage and bone. The septum can be deviated and may obstruct the airway to varying degrees. If the septum is deviated in such a way that surgical correction is indicated, then an operation to straighten the septum is planned.
In general, a deviated septum can be mild, moderate, or severe depending on the degree of deviation. The most basic septoplasty is one where the deviated portion of the septum is cut out completely. Care must be taken to leave behind enough septum to hold up the dorsum of the nose and maintain proper structural integrity thought the airway.
Other times, the deviated septum can me moved into position by performing a septal reset. This where the septum is moved without necessarily excising any portion of the septum. Typically, the deviated portion may be very anterior and therefore, the septum can be unhinged from the maxilla and mobilized into position. Sutures may be used to stabilize the septum at this point, or additional cartilage grafts may also be required. This is a very effective method of treating a deviated septum and it conserves the structural integrity of the cartilage.
Another way deviated septum is treated is by performing a total extracorporeal septoplasty. This is where the septum is actually removed from the patient and modified by cutting the cartilage and resuturing it together in the proper configuration. This is not a routine way of performing septoplasty for most surgeons, but when it is necessary, it can be very effective.