American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals


Deviated Septum Correction

A septoplasty is performed to correct a deviated septum, alleviating breathing difficulties and reduced airflow of the nasal airway.

What are the steps of a septoplasty procedure?

A septoplasty procedure includes the following steps:

Step 1 – Anesthesia

Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation and general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.

Step 2 – The incision

If septoplasty is performed in isolation, the incisions are often within the nasal cavity. For difficult septoplasties or some of those performed with rhinoplasties, a small incision may be made across the columella, the narrow strip of tissue that separates the nostrils.

Step 3 – Mucosal lining separation

The nasal mucosal lining, the membrane that covers the surface of the septum, is then lifted away from the septum at one side. This is a critical step that is carefully performed since the lining is fragile, which may result in a tear or hole in the lining as the mucosa is lifted away from the septum. Similarly the mucosal lining on the opposite side is lifted away from the septum.

Step 4 – Deviated septum correction

The deviated septum (bone and/or cartilage) is removed, leaving behind the special mucosal lining.

Step 5 – Closing the incision

Once the septum is in the desired position and straightened, the nasal mucosal lining is repositioned around it and sutured back together.

Step 6 – See the results

The newly constructed septum may be stabilized by splints or packing, which are removed shortly after surgery. Internal sutures used during the surgery dissolve on their own over time.


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