Deviated Septum

Deviated Septum Specialist
Your septum is a very thin wall in the middle of your nose that separates your nasal passages. Having a deviated -- or displaced -- septum leaves you with one nasal passage that’s narrower than the other. While snoring is often a common side effect, what’s also worrisome is that having a deviated septum can affect your breathing and ability to get a good night’s sleep, leaving you groggy during the day. Otolaryngologist Dr. Michel Babajanian -- an expert ear, nose, and throat surgeon serving Century City, California -- can help you resolve any issues associated with having a deviated septum.

Deviated Septum Q & A

by Michel Babajanian, MD, FACS

How do I know if I have a deviated septum?

Snoring and heavy breathing while sleeping are red flags that you may have a deviated septum. But even without these nighttime disturbances, you might exhibit some other issues that could also be signs of a deviated septum. You could also have:

  • Frequent nosebleeds
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pain around your nose
  • Regular sinus infections
  • Sleeping on one side to improve breathing

What causes a deviated septum?

Often, people are born with a deviated septum. In these cases, it’s likely that you have some symptoms -- like snoring or nosebleeds -- from childhood. Other times, trauma can cause a deviated septum. It can stem from a broken nose, or getting hit in the face with an airbag during a car accident, for example. So if you’re involved in a sport, such as martial arts, or football, where it’s possible that a hit to the nose could occur, do your best to wear protective gear for prevention. The same is important for your vehicle. Wear your seatbelt so if an accident does happen, you’re restrained and less likely to have blunt force trauma to the face from an airbag.

Is it possible to get treatment, without having to go through surgery?

Sometimes. Dr. Babajanian will try non-surgical options to help you get through your deviated septum issues. You may respond well to decongestants, antihistamines, or nasal steroid sprays. Because it isn’t always feasible for a patient to be on medications for the rest of their life, Dr. Babajanian might suggest a more permanent surgical solution for your deviated septum.

What should I expect from surgery for a deviated septum?

This type of surgery, called a septoplasty, isn’t something you should stress about. Dr. Babajanian uses modern, minimally invasive techniques to resolve your deviated septum, helping you have a speedy recovery. You’ll likely be under general anesthesia for the procedure, depending on your needs. During surgery, which usually lasts less than 1 ½ hours, Dr. Babajanian will cut out any bone or cartilage in the wall of your nose, removing the blockage that causes your issues.

Occasionally, a rhinoplasty, which requires modifying your bone and cartilage in your nose, also has to be done at the same time as -- or right after -- your septoplasty. But either way, Dr. Babajanian and his caring team will set you up with the right procedure to solve your deviated septum concerns.

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Michel Babajanian, MD, FACS
2080 Century Park East
Suite 1700
Los Angeles, CA 90067