Marina del Rey
Dr. David Stoker
4640 Admiralty Way #1000
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
In Los Angeles, a deviated septum is one of the most common reasons for patients to have problems breathing through their nose. A deviated septum may cause difficulty sleeping, dry mouth or a chronically stuffy nose. In some cases, it may be obvious as a crooked nose. In most cases, however, it's only visible on the inside of the nose. Fortunately, I offer a specialized nose surgery in Los Angeles called septoplasty, which can effectively improve both the appearance and the function of the nose.
Septoplasty corrects a deviated nasal septum, the internal cartilage that separates the two nasal airways. Ideally, the septum should run down the center of the nose with a relatively straight path that allows air to flow equally on either side. When the septum is deviated, however, it restricts airflow through one or both nostrils.
The goal of septoplasty is to straighten the septum, open the nasal airways and repair the deviation. My patients often have functional and cosmetic goals for surgery. They want to breathe easier, but they want to straighten the external appearance of their nose, too. It's common to combine septoplasty and rhinoplasty in Los Angeles, and many of my patients prefer to treat both problems at once.
Septoplasty is usually performed under general anesthetic. During the procedure, I work through the nostrils to place a small incision in the septum to reach the cartilage. Then, I remove and realign enough of the bone and cartilage to straighten the septum while maintaining structural support.
In Los Angeles, septoplasty can be combined with other airway procedures such as spreader grafts or turbinate reduction. Spreader grafts are internal cartilage spacers used to widen the nasal airways and improve breathing function. These spreader grafts are not visible externally and are usually created from spare septal cartilage.
For Los Angeles nose surgery, improving the function of the nose can also include turbinate surgery. Turbinate reduction treats the finger-like structures on the inside of each nasal airway. Turbinates normally clean the air before it reaches the lungs, but in some cases they may actually obstruct normal airflow. Reducing the size of the turbinates corrects nasal obstruction and improves airflow.
Patients whose breathing impairment is severe enough to cause a medical problem are usually covered by insurance. It's important to note, though, that insurance companies and doctors like patients to try conservative medical treatments such as nasal steroid sprays and antihistamines before choosing surgery. If these are not effective, surgery can offer much-needed relief. Patients who choose to add a cosmetic repair to a medically necessary procedure must pay separately for that portion of the operation.
In my experience, patients recover quickly from septoplasty. Splints are removed 4 to 6 days following surgery, at which point many patients return to work. Although patients look good even at this early stage, the results continue to improve over the course of a year.
The risks from septoplasty include bleeding, infection, internal scarring or recurrence. Complications, in my experience, have been very uncommon.