Septal Deviation

Deviated Septum Surgery in Charlotte NC & Rock Hill SC

The nasal septum is the wall that separates the nose into two passages.  It is made of bone and cartilage.  It provides support for the the nose and directs the flow of air as we breathe. A deviated septum occurs when the cartilage or bone is crooked and can make breathing difficult. The condition may also lead to sinusitis, snoring and sleep apnea.

A deviated septum is very common and can occur as a part of normal growth during childhood. Also, the septum can be deviated at birth (congenital) or  become deviated because of trauma, such as a broken nose.


  • Congested or blocked nasal breathing/mouth breathing
  • Breathing trouble at night and snoring
  • Chronic nosebleeds
  • Chronic sinus infections


Our physician will review your symptoms and perform a physical examination.  The exam most likely will include performing a nasal endoscopy to determine the extent of the obstruction.  A CT scan may be obtained if warranted, to complete a thorough work up of patients suffering from nasal obstruction.


At Carolina Sinus Center, our physician may prescribe nasal steroid sprays to improve breathing in patients with a deviated septum. These medications help to reduce mucosal inflammation and therefore decongest the nose improving nasal breathing.

If the septal deviation is severe and causing nasal obstruction despite medications, surgery will most likely be recommended. This surgery is called a Septoplasty and involves reshaping the septum by removing the deflected portions of bone and cartilage to eliminate the obstruction of the nasal passages.

Our physician usually performs a septoplasty under general anesthesia.  An incision is made inside the nostril and the mucosa covering the septum is lifted up to allow visibility of the bone and cartilage directly. No cuts are made on the face or through the skin.  The deviated portions of the bone and cartilage are then either removed or reshaped, leaving behind enough non-deviated bone and cartilage to maintain the shape of the nose. The incision is then stitched closed.

Soft plastic sheets or splints are usually placed inside the nose to help the septum heal straight and reduce the chance of scar tissue formation. Our physician rarely uses packing unless necessary to prevent bleeding.   The splints are usually removed in a few days. If performed alone, the surgery typically lasts under an hour. Once the effects of the anesthesia have worn off, patients are discharged home later the same day.  For some patients, turbinate resection may be performed at the same time.  Our doctor will discuss this option with you.


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