Nasal septal perforation is an opening or tear in the nasal septum, the cartilage and bone that divide the two sides of the nose. The septum helps to support the structure of the nose, provide adequate airflow and keep mucus from accumulating on one side.

Septal Perforation Symptoms

Without a proper septum, you may experience a variety of symptoms such as a whistling noise when breathing, breathing difficulty, recurrent sinus infections, recurrent epistaxis (nosebleeds), post-nasal drip and decreased sense of smell. Facial pain or discomfort in the nose area and recurring sinus infections may also be indicators of a torn septum.

Causes of Perforated Nasal Septum

The cause of septal perforation in most cases is usually from having previous nasal surgery. Other causes can include using topical medications and drugs or more rarely by some connective tissue diseases.

Surgical intervention is typically recommended for septal perforations larger than 3mm in size. When septal perforation is left untreated, it can lead to more serious complications, such as permanent changes in the shape of the nose or difficulty breathing. If you think you might have septal perforation, it’s important that you call NJ ENT for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Septal Perforation Consultation

A physical examination is the first step, which may include a nasal endoscopy to assess the size and shape of the septal perforation. Imaging studies such as computed tomography (CT) scans may be used to evaluate the extent of septal damage and to plan for surgical repair if necessary.

Perforation Repair Surgery

The goal of surgery is to close the septal opening using tissue grafts or septal buttons made out of silicon or acrylic, and medications are often prescribed during recovery time to reduce inflammation and infection if present. In some cases, septal plugs may be used to block the openings in order to reduce airflow through the septum.

Septal Perforations Recovery

After septal perforation surgery, follow-up care is essential to ensure that the septal opening has been repaired properly and all symptoms have resolved. During recovery, medications are typically prescribed to reduce inflammation and infection if present. Nasal sprays may be used to improve airflow through the nose and encourage healing of the septum.

Limiting activity is important during recovery time in order to give your body time to heal properly. In addition, most physicians recommend avoiding air travel for at least one month after septal repair as this can increase your risk for complications such as infection or a septal hematoma (collection of blood under the septum). Finally, it is important to stay in close contact with your physician at NJ ENT during recovery time as septal perforations can get worse if left untreated.

How We Can Help

Ultimately, septal perforation can be a serious condition. However, with prompt diagnosis and treatment, septal perforation can be successfully managed and any complications avoided. The New Jersey Ear, Nose, and Throat Center team has performed thousands of procedures and surgeries. We use the latest technology and techniques to ensure that you receive the best possible outcome.

Our doctors at NJ ENT are expertly trained in all areas of ENT care and are considered experts in their field. If you have any questions about Revision Rhinoplasty or would like more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help you achieve your desired outcome.


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After having surgery for a deviated septum I had a large septal perforation as well as problems with mucus in my throat. After extensively reading about my condition I was fortunate to find Dr. Undavia. I was impressed that he worked with Dr. Russell Kridel and confident he could help me. I had seen several doctors who were not willing to. Nearly all the tissue and cartilage was gone from my nose which had to be completely reconstructed by taking skin from my ear and scalp. Dr. Undavia is compassionate and reassuring. He has provided me with excellent care. I hold him in the highest esteem.

Joelle M

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