I'm constantly getting weak sinus infections-spread to my ears, I can feel congestion, dizzy at times. Do I Need a Septoplasty?

I've been to my ENT twice, he's advised me to get a septoplasty but I am skeptical. I've gotten a cat scan, xrays of my sinuses and could see where my septum was deviated. I'm constantly getting weak sinus infections, and those spread to my ears as I can feel congestion there and get dizzy at times. He checked my ears and said they look healthy. I've also had trouble sleeping,and have had problems with nasal drip. Dealt with it for months, most days the symptoms aren't severe but never feel 100%

Doctor Answers 6

Need to determine if your nasal septum is crooked enough to obstruct your nasal airway

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When teaching surgical residents about how to manage patients with symptoms like yours, I often tell them that we should “treat the patient” rather than treating the x-ray.  What’s more important to me than your x-ray findings is the symptoms that you’re describing and what I would find on physical examination. 

I would be looking to determine whether or not your nasal septum is crooked enough to obstruct your nasal airway, and to see if it’s crooked in an important location as it relates to your breathing function (the most important locations related to adequate nasal airway are the “interior” nasal valve area and “posterior” nasal valve area).

In addition to straightening the nasal septum – the structure that is in the midline of the nose, dividing the left nasal airway from the right nasal airway - you may also consider addressing the “nasal turbinates”.  The nasal turbinates are located on the outside walls of the airway.  These can become swollen enough to obstruct the airway due to nasal allergies or simply as a result of your natural anatomy.  They can either be reduced in size – my most common recommendation – or even removed.  Often, reduction of the nasal turbinates can be performed at the same time as a nasal septoplasty, if appropriate.  There is often little downside in adding this to the septoplasty procedure.

Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 18 reviews


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A deviated septum can cause symptoms such as facial headaches, congestion, pressurization, and nasal obstruction.  It does not cause chronic sinus disease, dizziness or nasal drip.  Major chronic sinus disease is usually caused by allergic nasal polyps located inside the sinuses and is totally unrelated to the deviated septum.  A septoplasty is done to improve airflow dynamics through the nose.  Most people sleep better at night when they can breathe better out of their nose.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Do I Need a Septoplasty?

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 It seems like you've had a complete workup with CT with a recommendation for Septoplasty.  If you are unsure, take your scan results and get a second opinion from another ENT or plastic and cosmetic surgeon regarding Septoplasty.  However, if some type of sinus surgery is part of your treatment, be certain the Rhinoplasty surgeon is well trained to do that as well as the Septoplasty.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Do I need a septoplasty?

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The primary reason for septoplasty is to relieve nasal obstruction when it is caused by the deviated septum. Abnormal mucous drainage, sinus infections and dizziness can be caused by many things which should be investigated before septal surgery.

Michael L. Schwartz, MD
West Palm Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 12 reviews


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If your surgeon and the CT scan reveal a significant deviation, then surgery may help.  But realized that people with perfect septums can still have sinus problems and nasal drip.  Donald R. Nunn MD  Atlanta Plastic Surgeon

Donald Nunn, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Nose obstruction and deviated septum

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Many people have a septum that is not straight. It is corrected surgically if it bothers you enough. The principal symptom is (usually unilateral ) intermittent nasal obstruction normally worse at night. Once all treatable contributing medical conditions are brought under maximal control, but the nasal blockage remains bothersome, then the patient can decidef if the surgery is worth it after a thorough discussion after a thorough discussion of the expected risks and potential benefit with his operating surgeon. 

Douglas J. Kibblewhite, MD
Vancouver Facial Plastic Surgeon

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.