Septoplasty: quick-fire questions

Written by: Mr Cheka Spencer
Edited by: Aoife Maguire

Septoplasty is a surgical procedure that addresses a deviated septum, and not only enhances nasal function but may also make the face look more balanced and in harmony as part of a septorhinoplasty/external septoplasty operation. Renowned consultant ENT surgeon Mr Cheka Spencer delves into the details of this procedure, including the benefits, risks and recovery process.



What is a septoplasty?


The septum is the midline partition of the nose which divides the right side from the left side. It is made of cartilage and bone, and is covered by nasal lining. Sometimes the septum can become twisted and bent, either from birth or due to an accident. This can impact the passage of air, causing a sensation of nasal blockage, and usually develops on one side of the face, but can occur on both sides.


In order to have relief from these problems, many patients choose to undergo a septoplasty, which is an operation that straightens the septum and helps you to breathe better on both sides.


What are the benefits of a septoplasty?


The main benefit of a septoplasty is the ability to breathe better. In some cases, the bent septum can also cause the outside of the nose to look bent, and therefore an external septoplasty can help to restore the nose to its normal appearance.


What are the risks of septoplasty?


As is the case with any operation, a septoplasty poses some potential risks. However, the majority of patients that undergo this operation recover well. It is normal to have nosebleeds after the operation, which can be provoked due to a mixture of old blood or fresh blood.


If the bleeding is severe, you may need to visit the hospital, where a dressing or pack may be placed in the nose. However, this only occurs in very rare circumstances


Another potential risk associated with septoplasty is infection. It is crucial to consult with a doctor if your nose becomes increasingly blocked, or if is red and painful, as this may be indicative of a septal abscess.


It is essential to seek advice from a doctor if your nose experiences a growing blockage, or if it becomes red and painful, as this may be indicative of a septal abscess.


Furthermore, undergoing septoplasty is linked with the development of a septal perforation, the development of a hole in the septum which goes from one side of the nose to the other. However, it is highly unlikely that this will occur.


How is a septoplasty performed?


A septoplasty is performed with a general anaesthetic, meaning that you will be asleep while the surgery is performed. The operation is performed through small cuts made inside of the nose, meaning that there will be no external scars in your face afterwards.


The surgeon will straighten the septum and move it back into the centre of the nose. However, achieving complete alignment may not always be possible. It is important to note that no post-operative side effects such as black eyes or alterations in the nose's shape are anticipated.


What is the recovery time after a septoplasty?


It is recommended that you take two weeks off work to recover from this procedure. This is particularly important if you work in a dusty environment or if your work involves physically demanding tasks, such as lifting heavy boxes.




If you are considering a septoplasty and would like to book a consultation with Mr Spencer, simply visit his Top Doctors profile today.

By Mr Cheka Spencer
Otolaryngology / ENT

Mr Cheka Spencer is a renowned consultant ENT surgeon based in London, with over 15 years of experience. Mr Spencer has extensive experience in a wide variety of ENT conditions and surgical procedures. His areas of expertise include blocked nose, septoplasty, rhinoplasty (nose job), sinusitis, endoscopic sinus surgery and snoring.

Mr Spencer first qualified with an MBBS from the Guy’s, King’s and St Thomas’ School of Medicine at the University of London in 2006. Over the course of his career, he has become one of the leading experts in ENT in London. He graduated with an MSc in Social Epidemiology from University College London in 2008, an MRCS from the Royal College of Surgeons in 2010, followed by a DOHNS in 2011. In 2018 he received his FRCS (ORL-HNS).

Mr Spencer gained experience working at a number of prestigious hospitals across the UK, both NHS and private where he gained experience in all aspects of general adult and paediatric ENT surgery. His training culminated in an highly skilled fellowship at St George’s Hospital in Rhinology including advanced sino-nasal and facial aesthetic surgery.

Mr Spencer currently practises privately at a number of centres of excellence in London: Royal Free Hospital, The Harley Street Clinic, Hadley Wood Hospital and St John and St Elizabeth Hospital.

In addition to his clinical work, Mr Spencer has contributed numerous articles to peer-review scientific publications. He is a member of the ENT UK Global Health Committee and was appointed as Vice Chairman in 2022. He is the Global Health Editor for the international journal ENT and Audiology News. He is also the editor of the ENT UK Global Health journal.

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