Septoplasty: what is it and how effective can it be?

Written by: Mr Joe Marais
Edited by: Conor Lynch

A deviated or incorrectly shaped nasal septum can cause extreme discomfort when engaging in essential every day human necessities that we might take for granted, such as breathing and sleeping.


On hand to provide the solution to this nasal discomfort is highly esteemed consultant rhinologist, nasal plastic & ENT surgeon, Mr Joe Marais. In this article, Mr Marais details what exactly a septoplasty is and why this procedure is the most effective treatment option for a bent nasal septum.

What is a septoplasty?

A septoplasty is an operation carried out to correct a deviated or bent nasal septum, the central cartilage wall in the middle of the nose. It may become bent for a couple of reasons, with one of the main ones typically being trauma (such as a broken nose – which may have been many years before) or it may have just grown bent as the facial bones matured.


Why should a septoplasty procedure be considered?

The problem people have with a deviated nasal septum (DNS) is that it can cause nasal blockage. This may occur on one side, both sides, or can even alternate from side to side. The only way to correct this problem is to carry out a septoplasty, as nose sprays will not solve the issue.


Fillers and injectables also cannot correct a DNS. They are for external use only, whilst the septum is part of the internal nasal structural framework. In short, a septoplasty procedure is the most effective treatment option to correct a deviated or bent nasal septum.


How long does a septoplasty procedure last and how is it performed?

A septoplasty operation usually lasts roughly between 45 minutes to an hour and is performed under general anaesthetic, usually as a day-case (if done as a sole procedure).

How effective is the operation?

The success rate is very high, and currently has over 90 per cent of a success rate. Most people with a badly deviated septum will notice a marked improvement in their nasal breathing within one to two weeks after surgery.


What improvements can patients expect to see?

The improvement in sleep quality can be enormous, as it is obviously horrible trying to sleep with a constantly-blocked nose (dry mouth, etc.)


Correcting a DNS may also improve snoring, but often this does not emanate from the nose, but rather the back of the throat. Therefore, if snoring does improve after a septoplasty, it should be considered a bonus, and not the primary goal of the surgery.


What does recovery time look like for patients who have undergone a septoplasty?

There is little post-op pain and no black eyes or bruising whatsoever. Heavy physical activity must be avoided for a week following the surgery, but other daily tasks may be undertaken after only three to four days.


Mr Joe Marais is an exceptionally skilled and highly experienced consultant rhinologist, nasal plastic & ENT surgeon. If you have any concerns relating to the nose, you can book an appointment with Mr Marais by visiting his Top Doctors profile here.

By Mr Joe Marais
Otolaryngology / ENT

Mr Joe Marais is a consultant rhinologist, nasal plastic & ENT surgeon based in London,  who treats a wide range of conditions and holds a special interest in rhinoplasty, septoplasty, nasal deformity and sinus surgery.

Mr Marais trained as a junior doctor in London and Edinburgh before gaining experience under some of the world’s leading ENT surgeons in Texas, USA and later in Toronto, Canada.

Highly respected in his field, Mr Marais has published a number of academic papers and has lectured nationally and internationally. Patient care is central to Mr Marais and he aims to provide the best and most straightforward solution for his patients.

View Profile

Overall assessment of their patients

This website uses its own and third-party cookies to collect information in order to improve our services, to show you advertising related to your preferences, as well as to analyse your browsing habits..