Treatment for a Deviated Septum in Federal Way, WA
Millions of people in the United States experience a deviated septum. This is despite the ability to receive permanent relief. Dr. Ryan Stern treats a deviated septum through a surgical procedure called a septoplasty. This procedure straights the septum which provides relief by ridding the patient of facial pain, nosebleeds, nasal congestion, and other negative symptoms associated with having a deviated septum.
Symptoms of a Deviated Septum
The septum is the cartilage and bone between the two nostrils in the nose. Air is able to pass through the nostrils without issue when one’s septum is straight. However, if one’s septum is crooked, negative symptoms may occur as breathing can be disrupted. There are other negative symptoms associated with having a deviated septum:
- Facial pain
- Sleep apnea
- Postnasal drip
- Sinus pressure
- Difficult breathing
The symptom above may range from mild to severe. Factors such as the degree in which the septum is deviated may effect the severity of symptoms. Fortunately, the septoplasty procedure performed by Ryan Stern, MD restructures the septum to restore balanced airflow to and from the nostrils.
Causes of a Deviated Septum
A deviated septum is commonly caused through physical injury. Causes of these injuries can be minor accidents, athletic activity, or other forms of physical contact. It’s common for a deviated septum caused through a physical injury to go un-diagnosed for long periods of time until the patient begins to have difficulty breathing. Sometimes, a deviated septum may even be present at birth caused from the stress of childbirth or prenatal injury.
Treating a Deviated Septum
The septoplasty procedure is both beneficial for the restructuring of the septum, and because the patient typically has no visible scarring after the procedure. The lack of scarring is because a septoplasty is conducted through small incisions within the nose that don’t leave visible scarring afterwards.
A septoplasty is conducted through either local or general anesthesia. While a variety of factors will dictate which form of anesthesia will be best for each procedure, one of those factors is the patient’s preference. A patient’s specific treatment for the optimal result is created through a consultation and examination with Dr. Stern.
A septoplasty involves repairing the deviated septum through repositioning the cartilage and bone within the nose. This may require the removal of some bone to accommodate the repositioned septum. During this procedure, Ryan Stern, MD will make sure that air is able to flow through both nostrils in a balanced amount. Upon completion of the septoplasty, Dr. Stern will utilize nasal splints which holds the septum in place throughout the healing process.
The entire procedure usually takes no more than a few hours and is an outpatient procedure. This means patients who undergo a septoplasty are typically able to go home that same day. However, due to the use of anesthesia in the procedure, patients must arrange for a ride home as patients cannot drive for 24 hours after the procedure.
Recovering from a Septoplasty
Following directions given by Dr. Stern is critical for a smooth and complete recovery for a deviated septum. The directions given to patients following the septoplasty ensure an even flow of air through the patient’s nostrils. Patients should keep their head elevated through several pillows. It’s important for patients to avoid lying flat. Patients should also only take medication prescribed by Dr. Stern for recovery. Patients with questions about medication should call Dr. Stern’s office.
Patients will have a bandage under their nose to collect blood and fluid which is expected to drain for approximately a week after the procedure. The bandages will need to be changed frequently over the first 24 hours.
Patients can expect to have symptoms such as nasal congestion for the first few weeks following the septoplasty as the nasal passage heals. Patients should not blow their nose during the first week of recovery and avoid the urge to clean the inside of their nose. Doing so will disturb the healing process. However, patients can clean the outside of their nose gently.
Pain medication such as Motrin or aspirin should be avoided. Patients should also avoid drinking alcohol which increases bleeding. This can complicate the healing process.
For any questions, patients can call Dr. Stern’s office at at (253) 661-2520.