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A deviated septum may cause one or more of these symptoms:
If your septum is not severely deviated, you might only notice these symptoms if you have a cold. This happens because the cold and the deviated septum both make breathing through your nose more difficult.
A deviated septum can be diagnosed by your doctor after:
A CT scan is an imaging test that can show a deviated septum, but this is usually not needed to diagnose the condition.
Treatment for a deviated septum may involve surgery. If your deviated septum is causing symptoms like sinus infections, pain, or nasal congestion, your doctor may recommend surgery. The most common surgery for a deviated septum is septoplasty [SEP-toe-plas-tee]. This surgery is done inside of your nostrils, and will not cause any bruising or external signs. The surgery takes about 1 ½ hours.
During the surgery, your doctor:
Sometimes, your doctor may combine a septoplasty with a surgery of the outer nose or sinuses. Surgery of the outer nose, called rhinoplasty [RAHY-nuh-plas-tee], changes the way the outside of your nose looks. If you have problems with your sinuses, your doctor may also recommend sinus surgery to help you with these symptoms.
After surgery, nasal packing will be put into your nose to help prevent bleeding after the operation. You might have some symptoms after the surgery, including:
These symptoms are usually mild and can be reduced with pain medicine. Usually, recovery from septoplasty takes about a week, and outcomes are usually successful. Your doctor might ask you to use a saline (salt) spray to keep your nose clean and healthy after the surgery.