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 is narrower than the other. While snoring is often a common side effect, what is 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 issues associated with a deviated septum.

Deviated Septum Q & A

by Michel Babajanian, MD, FACS

What should I expect from surgery for a deviated septum?

When performing surgery to treat a deviated septum, known as a septoplasty, Dr. Babajanian uses modern, minimally invasive techniques to help patients have a speedy recovery. Patients often are put under general anesthesia for the procedure, but this can vary depending on individual needs. During surgery, which usually lasts less than two 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 -- a septoplasty. Either way, Dr. Babajanian and his caring team will perform the right procedure to solve your deviated septum concerns.

What causes a deviated septum?

Often, people are born with a deviated septum. In these cases, it is 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 a facial trauma, 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. It is also important to take proper safety measures when doing daily activities like driving. Wear your seatbelt so, if an accident does happen, you are restrained and less likely to have blunt force trauma.

Snoring and heavy breathing while sleeping are symptoms of a deviated septum. But even without these nighttime disturbances, you might exhibit some other issues that could also be signs of a deviated septum. These include:

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

If you feel you may suffer from a deviated septum, contact Dr. Babajanian to discuss the options for treatment, which may include a surgery.

Are there non-surgical options for a deviated septum?

Sometimes. Dr. Babajanian will try non-surgical options to help manage a deviated septum. He will first conduct a thorough examination and determine if the patient is a good candidate for this course of treatment. Some patients may respond well to decongestants, antihistamines, or nasal steroid sprays. Because it is not 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.


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