Septal Devation of 5-6 Mm - Is This Severe?

I didn't respond to nasal sprays and meds that my dr had given me so she ordered a ct scan of my paranasal sinuses and it concluded that I have a septal deviation of 5-6 mm and a nasal septal spur. Im always congested and even on the rare occasion that I'm not I have a hard time breathing through my nose. Will I need septoplasty?

Doctor Answers 3

Septoplasty can relieve nasal obstruction from septal deviation

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Kate, septoplasty improves nasal airway by straightening or removing segments of the septum that block nasal air flow. There can be other contributing factors to obstruction. Congestion is a sign of allergies, and you should undergo a full evaluation prior to any surgical intervention. In addition, your nose requires direct examination in order to determine if you have weakness of your nasal sidewall, which is not detectable by CT scanning and can play a significant role in nasal obstruction. Hope this helps,

Grigoriy Mashkevich, MD New York Facial Plastic Surgeon. 

Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Valves more important than septum in blocking many airways

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Everyone knows about the "deviated septum", but interestingly it  is not the most important cause of airway obstruction.  This is proven by the many patients whose septa have been fixed but who still have poor airways.

Between 1999 and 2007,  I performed airflow measurements on 600 patients whose airways I corrected.  The biggest improvement came from fixing the internal valves (in the middle of the sides ) and the external valves (at the nostril rims).  Fixing either set of valves doubled airflow.  Fixing both sets (if they weren't functional) tripled or quadrupled flow.

Septoplasty fixed the blocked side but did not significantly increase overall nasal airflow.

Turbinates warm and humidify the air and can also block the breathing; if you do not have allergies they usually enlarge because of the bad airway--not cause it.

See a surgeon who can evaluate and correct whichever problems you have.  Good luck!

Mark B. Constantian, MD, FACS
Nashua Plastic Surgeon

Need for septoplasty

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If you have trouble breathing (nasal obstruction) and also have a deviated septum, you will likely improve from a septoplasty.  Occasionally, an inferior turbinate reduction will also be needed. But if there is a fixed physical obstruction in the nose, correcting it should significantly improve your symptoms of nasal obstruction. 

Amir M. Karam, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

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These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.