Septoplasty is a corrective surgical
Surgery is an ancient medical specialty that uses operative manual and instrumental techniques on a patient to investigate and/or treat a pathological condition such as disease or injury, or to help improve bodily function or appearance.An act of performing surgery may be called a surgical...

 procedure done fix to straighten the nasal septum
Nasal septum
The nasal septum separates the left and right airways in the nose, dividing the two nostrils.It is depressed by the Depressor septi nasi muscle.-Composition:The fleshy external end of the nasal septum is sometimes also called columella....

, the partition between the two nasal cavities
Nasal cavity
The nasal cavity is a large air filled space above and behind the nose in the middle of the face.- Function :The nasal cavity conditions the air to be received by the other areas of the respiratory tract...

. Ideally, the septum should run down the center of the nose
Human nose
The visible part of the human nose is the protruding part of the face that bears the nostrils. The shape of the nose is determined by the ethmoid bone and the nasal septum, which consists mostly of cartilage and which separates the nostrils...

. When it deviates
Deviated septum
Nasal septum deviation is a common physical disorder of the nose, involving a displacement of the nasal septum.-Causes:It is most frequently caused by impact trauma, such as by a blow to the face. It can also be a congenital disorder, caused by compression of the nose during childbirth...

 into one of the cavities, it narrows that cavity and impedes airflow. Often the inferior turbinate
In anatomy, a nasal concha is a long, narrow and curled bone shelf that protrudes into the breathing passage of the nose...

 on the opposite side enlarges, which is termed compensatory hypertrophy. Deviations of the septum can lead to nasal obstruction. Most surgeries are completed in 60 minutes or less, not including recovery time.


The procedure usually involves a judicious excision/realignment of a portion of the bone and/or cartilage in the nasal cavity. Under general or local anesthesia
Local anesthesia
Local anesthesia is any technique to induce the absence of sensation in part of the body, generally for the aim of inducing local analgesia, that is, local insensitivity to pain, although other local senses may be affected as well. It allows patients to undergo surgical and dental procedures with...

, the surgeon works through the nostrils, making an incision in the lining of the septum to reach the cartilage targeted in the operation. Sufficient cartilage is preserved for structural support. After the septum is straightened, it may then be stabilized temporarily with small plastic tubes, splints, or sutures internally.


Unless there are unusual complications, there is no swelling or discoloration to the external nose or face with septoplasty alone. Packing is rare with modern surgical techniques, but splinting the inside of the nose for a few days is common (these are not visible externally). One percent of patients can experience excessive bleeding afterwards- the risk period lasts up to two weeks. This could require packing or cautery, but is generally handled safely and without compromise of the ultimate surgical result.

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