Septoplasty – Functional Nose Surgery – Correction of Deviated Septum – La Jolla, CA*

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About Septoplasty

Not liking the shape of your nose is one problem, but not being able to breathe through it correctly is entirely different. We need our noses to breathe, and any diminished functionality can be terribly uncomfortable and even detrimental to your health. When your nasal cavity is formed in a way that it is hard to breathe, you may have a deviated septum (thick, fibrous tissue and bone that separates your nasal passages that have become misshapen and is restricting your airflow). At Shumway Cosmetic Surgery, septoplasty is commonly performed for men and women of all ages to improve or repair the airway obstacles caused by a deviated septum.

Resolving a medical issue with septoplasty may change the appearance of the nose, but it is not the main goal of the procedure. When you have a deviated septum, straightening out your septum can be a major benefit in reducing snoring, sleep apnea, or breathing difficulties, which are all a higher priority to cosmetic issues. If you would like to find out if you qualify for a septoplasty, please call and schedule a one-on-one appointment with cosmetic surgeon Dr. Robert A. Shumway in his La Jolla, CA office. He always evaluates each patient personally, carefully considers which techniques will work best, and provides exceptional results with minimal downtime.

Ideal candidates 

While some people believe that nose surgery is a simple procedure, it truly is a very delicate procedure that requires exceptional skills from the surgeon, realistic expectations from the patient, and the key physical features needed to obtain the goal at hand. At Shumway Cosmetic Surgery, we know that many of our patients are born with a deviated septum and the symptoms get more serious over time. While most people are good candidates for septoplasty surgery, the following criteria are critical for a successful result:

  • It is best for you to have reached full facial growth, typically between at least 13 – 16 years of age
  • It is imperative that you be in both good physical and emotional health
  • It is critical that you have realistic expectations as this is not a quest for perfection

If this sounds like you, the next step would be to schedule a consultation with Dr. Shumway at our La Jolla office in southern California. You may also be a candidate for a septoplasty if you had trauma to your nose at one point in your life. A car accident where you hit your face, a baseball that missed your glove and slammed into your nose, or a fight that got out of hand that landed you with a broken nose — these are just a few examples of how a septum can become traumatized enough to need surgery. No matter what your medical reason is for needing this surgery, if you are having trouble breathing, please consult with a trusted doctor.

Surgical Technique

During your surgical consultation, Dr. Shumway will listen to your concerns, perform an exam of your nose and facial features to evaluate your needs, and assess breathing problems. Once he has gathered all of this information, then he will certainly discuss your options with you. As a leader in the aesthetics field, Dr. Shumway is highly qualified and skilled, and he'll provide you with excellent results. You can have a septoplasty performed right here on-site at Shumway Cosmetic Surgery. After you have been given anesthesia, an incision will be made inside your nostril to lift and separate the tissues covering the septum. Once the area has been assessed for what can be removed, Dr. Shumway will excise and/or correct the misshapen tissue to make the airway unobstructed. The aesthetics of your nose should be protected. Dr. Shumway is not going to take away the natural structure of your nose, but he will correct or straighten it out. Once the procedure is complete, the incision will be closed with sutures.

To keep your nose from shifting right after surgery, you may have a splint put on your nose to keep your nasal features straightened during the first phase of healing. Nasal packing can also be gently inserted into the nasal cavities to control post-op bleeding and removed at your very first follow-up appointment.

What to Expect

Your nose can look dramatically different or basically the same after surgery for a deviated septum. End results and expectations will be discussed at length in your consultation with Dr. Shumway. We take great care of our patients before, during, and after every procedure. You can count on us from your first question to the moment you walk out of our office with a properly functioning and beautifully unremarkable nose – and beyond.

As for your recovery, you can expect minimal bruising and swelling around the nose and eyes. Most of our patients report that they experience little discomfort. Dr. Shumway will ask you to take it easy for a while, keep your head elevated (even while you sleep), and apply cold compresses to keep swelling at bay. Most of our patients can return to normal activities, such as work or school, in about a week. While visible improvements are seen almost immediately, it does take several months for swelling to completely subside.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my insurance company won't cover a septoplasty?
Many insurance companies draw a fine line between functional and cosmetic surgeries when it comes to the nose. However, if your breathing difficulties are well documented by physicians and you meet the requirements for a surgical treatment for a deviated septum, you should try to see if it will be covered. If it is not accepted, we have cosmetic surgery financing options available for everyone to have the opportunity to go forward with their cosmetic surgery goals. There are many plans, companies, and unique loans to fit every budget. Our office is happy to assist you with your financing needs.

I like my nose. Will septoplasty change how I look?

Dr. Shumway does not want you to worry that you have to change your appearance because you have a deviated septum. This is simply not true. We can alleviate your symptoms of an obstructed airway and other medical issues your nasal passages are causing without altering your facial appearance. If you like the appearance of your nose, Dr. Shumway will not try to talk you out of keeping your natural look. 

On the other hand, if your septoplasty requires a lot of bone grafting to rebuild the cartilage that was lost when the bone was taken out — it may slightly change the appearance of your nose. This would be a minor change and Dr. Shumway would walk you through every step to make sure you are comfortable with the surgical plan.

Should I select a cosmetic surgeon or an ENT surgeon?
The truth is that cosmetic surgeons are trained to preserve the look and shape of your nose. ENT surgeons will only focus on the mechanics of the nose — not the aesthetics. Because the septum plays such a crucial role in a rhinoplasty, cosmetic surgeons have lots of experience molding and reshaping them to be at their best.

What if I need both — functional and cosmetic surgery?
At Shumway Cosmetic Surgery, we can combine functional and cosmetic rhinoplasty into one procedure for patients looking to address both concerns. This way, you'll get everything you need with only one recovery period. Septoplasty will have you breathing easier without the worry of looking worse. Dr. Shumway will discuss all of your options.

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Average Cost  
From $4,500
Average Procedure Time  
2 – 3 Hours
Procedure Recovery Location  
Outpatient
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See Dr. Shumway for a consult

If you are wondering if you have a deviated septum or have been referred to us by your primary care physician for a septoplasty consultation, we would love to hear from you. We have state-of-the-art technology and a team of highly regarded medical professionals ready to give you the care and attention you deserve. If you're interested in scheduling a consultation with Dr. Shumway, or if you just have questions about septoplasty, give us a call.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person.