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There are certain plastic surgery procedures that seem to pop into everyone’s minds when they think of plastic surgery; for some, it may be breast augmentation (a “boob job”), for others, it is tummy tuck surgery, while other people may think of rhinoplasty (a “nose job”).
And while many people think that plastic surgery is simply cosmetic, meant only to improve patients’ physical appearance, the truth is that some plastic surgery carries a functional and health benefit.
One of the areas of the body that can be helped to function better through plastic surgery (and therefore positively affect the patient’s lifestyle) is the nose, and one of the most common nose-related physical issues is a deviated septum.
While it can be easy to think that rhinoplasty (corrective nose surgery, most commonly referred to as a “nose job”) is the only nose surgery out there, the reality is that a rhinoplasty will not necessarily fix your deviated septum.
Instead, to correct this issue, you will need to undergo septoplasty.
Since not many people know about septoplasty, here is some information to help you better understand this procedure so that you can determine whether it can help you.
What Is a Deviated Septum?
A deviated septum is a common medical issue. In fact, 70 to 80 percent of people have a deviated septum, though for most people, their septal deviation is so minor that it never presents any difficulties to them and therefore requires no correction.
Essentially, a deviated septum is a condition in which the wall between the nasal passages (the nasal septum) is shifted and displaced to one particular side.
While this condition causes no problems for some people, other men and women suffer from this condition and require correction.
What Are Some of the Symptoms of a Deviated Septum?
The particular symptoms of a deviated septum, as well as their intensity, varies for each person; however, they tend to include:
- Uncomfortable pressure in the nasal passages
- Congested nostrils
- Snoring during sleep
- Difficulty breathing (in severe cases)
What Causes a Deviated Septum?
Most men and women who suffer from a deviated septum were either born with the condition or develop the deviation due to an injury.
What Is the Difference Between Rhinoplasty and Septoplasty?
While both a rhinoplasty and septoplasty are nose surgeries, they each focus on correcting different issues.
- Rhinoplasty is a surgery that corrects the size, shape, and projection of the nose. Whether a patient is upset with the wide shape or long projection of their nose, or they are frustrated by more particular issues (such as a crooked nose, hooked nasal tip, or a nasal bump), rhinoplasty can help give them the nose and facial aesthetic they desire.
- Septoplasty is a procedure that focuses on only correcting deviated septums in patients. In other words, rhinoplasty is concerned with the outer portion (appearance) of the nose, whereas septoplasty is concerned with the non-visible, inner portion of the nose.
How Is Septoplasty Performed?
Depending on the correction needed, rhinoplasty can include everything from shaving the bone and removing cartilage to reduce the size of the nose to cartilage grafts, which help increase the size of the nose. Ultimately the focus of rhinoplasty is to bring a more balanced appearance to your nose and face.
Septoplasty, on the other hand, is a simpler process than rhinoplasty.
For a septoplasty, Dr. Kim will re-center the displaced septum and remove the deviated portion to allow for equal air flow in both nostrils.
Septoplasty is usually performed with general anesthesia, so you won’t feel any pain or discomfort. After the anesthesia has been administered, Dr. Kim will make an incision in the nasal septum (the wall) and either lift or remove the membrane there (called the mucosa). Dr. Kim will then reshape the misaligned bone and cartilage of the septum. If needed, portions of the cartilage and/or bone will be removed.
After the septum is balanced, Dr. Kim will replace the mucosa membrane and close up the incision.
While you will not see any visible evidence of your septoplasty, you will be able to breathe easier and feel more comfortable.
Are You Interested in Septoplasty or Rhinoplasty?
If you are experiencing issues from a deviated septum or you are interested in correcting the appearance of your nose, then schedule your consultation with Dr. Kim today by calling (925) 891-4135 or by filling out our online form.