If you struggle with breathing due to a deviated septum, you might be looking toward surgical treatments for help. One of two procedures, septoplasty and balloon septoplasty, should be your best bet.
What Is a Deviated Septum?
Your septum is the thin wall of cartilage and bone that divides your two nostrils. When it becomes displaced or bent, it can cause nasal obstruction and sinus-related issues. The nasal passage becomes smaller, which can make breathing really difficult.
The traditional treatment of a deviated septum happens in the operating room with a procedure called septoplasty. However, a newer FDA-approved technique — balloon septoplasty — is another option for those seeking a nonsurgical solution.
[Related: When Should I Consider Balloon Sinuplasty?]
What Is Balloon Septoplasty?
Balloon septoplasty for deviated septum uses the same balloon technique as a balloon sinuplasty procedure. The doctor inserts a small balloon into the nasal cavity and slowly inflates it to expand the passageways.
To correct a deviated septum, your doctor uses the balloon tool to straighten either side of your septum and move it into a better position.
Compared to traditional septoplasty, the balloon septoplasty procedure appeals to many patients for several reasons:
- It requires no general anesthesia.
- There’s minimal to no postoperative pain.
- Doctors can perform the procedure in the office rather than in a hospital operating room.
What Happens During the Balloon Septoplasty Procedure?
One major advantage of this treatment is that the balloon septoplasty procedure is quick and straightforward.
When you go into the office for balloon septoplasty, your doctor numbs your nose using a topical anesthetic solution. After about a half an hour, they place a balloon catheter into one side of your septum and slowly inflate it. This inflation essentially pushes the septum to a more favorable position.
Your doctor repeats the process as necessary on the other side of your nose. Then, they remove any sharp spurs or projections that might further obstruct your breathing.
Depending on your condition, you might prefer to undergo balloon septoplasty during your appointments for balloon sinuplasty or turbinate reduction treatment.
During the procedure, you usually experience pressure rather than pain, thanks to the anesthetic. Think of it as similar to going to the dentist and having work done. You might be a little sore, but the outcome is worth it!
What Are Balloon Septoplasty Recovery, Healing and Aftercare Like?
Other reasons patients choose this procedure are the quick recovery time and the minimal postoperative pain. Patients can often return to school or work the same day as their balloon septoplasty.
As with balloon sinuplasty, most doctors recommend a schedule of follow-up appointments starting one week after the procedure.
You may experience slight swelling, temporary congestion and/or discolored or light bloody nasal discharge following balloon septoplasty. If anything seems out of the ordinary, or if you have any concerns about your healing process, contact your doctor for further care instructions.
Who Qualifies for Balloon Septoplasty?
Candidates for balloon septoplasty are typically the same people who qualify for traditional septoplasty. If you suffer from a deviated septum that obstructs your nasal passage and makes breathing difficult, you may benefit from this procedure.
However, whether you need traditional surgical septoplasty or in-office balloon septoplasty depends on a few key factors. For example, your doctor considers the severity of your septal deviation and the existence of any other medical conditions.
Consult with your doctor beforehand to find the right procedure for you.
What Is the Usual Balloon Septoplasty Cost?
Because the procedure is so new, it’s tricky to pin down the average balloon septoplasty cost. However, most insurance companies cover the balloon septoplasty procedure if a doctor deems it medically necessary. Additionally, because doctors can perform the procedure in an office rather than in a hospital, balloon septoplasty can be much less expensive than surgical septoplasty.
Contact your insurance company and your doctor to find the exact cost of any deductibles, co-pays or out-of-pocket fees before your procedure.
Breathe Easier With Pasha Snoring and Sinus Center
At Pasha Snoring and Sinus Center, our goal is for you to breathe easier.
If you think a balloon septoplasty procedure could help you, contact us today. We’ll discuss all the potential benefits and check whether you’re a good candidate.
Featured image via Unsplash