Can Doctors Tell the Septal Cartilage Was Removed or Reshaped in Septoplasty by CT Image?

If it was removed, can doctors tell where and how much it was removed by CT image?

Doctor Answers 3

Using a CT to assess prior septoplasty

As the others have mentioned CT scans are best at picking up bone and air. Cartilage looks like skin and other soft tissue on a CT so it isn't very good at determining how much cartilage is left or whether anything was previously done to it during prior surgery.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Septoplasty surgery

Dear Orador,

  • CT is best at picking up bone and air, and not so great for catilage
  • On the images, it is tough to tell what is cartilage and what is soft tissue
  • You can examine the septum and touch it with a q-tip to know how much is left

Best regards,

Nima Shemirani

Nima Shemirani, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 74 reviews

The Septum on CT imaging

The nasal septum is made of both bone and cartilage.  Because CT scans (computed tomography) utilize a series of X rays, structures with bone density are reliably depicted.  Soft tissue elements, like cartilage are less predictably viewed and I would not rely on a CT scan to quantify how much cartilage is present or absent.

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

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