Septoplasty is a corrective surgical procedure done to straighten the nasal septum, the partition between the two nasal cavities. Ideally, the septum should run down the center of the nose. When the septum deviates, it narrows the nasal cavity and impedes airflow. Often the inferior turbinates on the sides of the nose enlarge, which is termed compensatory hypertrophy. A deviated septum can contribute to nasal obstruction, sinusitis, nosebleeds, and headaches. Septoplasty is usually combined with turbinate reduction to enlarge the nasal passageways. The procedure takes less than one hour under general anesthesia in an outpatient surgical setting.

Because the deviation is a result of a cartilage and/or bone surplus, the procedure usually involves an excision/removal of a portion of any of these tissues. Under general anesthesia, the surgeon works through the nostrils, making an incision in the lining of the septum to reach the cartilage and bone targeted in the operation. After the septum has been straightened, it is usually stabilized with small internal silicone splints or absorbable packs. These are removed one week after the procedure in the office with minimal discomfort.

See postoperative instructions for more information following the procedure.