Your nasal septum divides the nose’s nasal cavities into two. It is positioned behind each nostril and allows airflow to pass from the nostrils down into the throat to the lungs and back again. A septal perforation occurs if a hole forms in the septal wall, which causes a single cavity to form. The formation of the single cavity interrupts the airflow and can lead to unpleasant symptoms, such as infection, bleeding, inflammation, dryness, and crusting of the nose.

If you suffer from a perforated septum, contact double-board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Lee Ann M. Klausner, who provides services in Manhattan on the Eastern side of Central Park. Dr. Klausner specializes in closing septal perforations and will treat your condition at Lee Ann M. Klausner, M.D., PLLC.

Symptoms of septal perforation

A septal perforation is often debilitating. A hole in the nasal septum interrupts the airflow through the nose, leading to pain, bleeding, infection, and chronic whistling with every breath you take. In extreme cases, you will start to suffer from more frequent bouts of pneumonia and bronchitis. With a septal perforation, your entire quality of life can become disrupted. You often cannot even sleep well at night, so you’ll start feeling more fatigued and tired during the day, which can impact your work and personal life.

What causes a septal perforation?

A septal perforation can occur from the abuse of recreational drugs, such as cocaine. The perforation can also result from the chronic use of nasal decongestants or daily nose picking and as a complication of surgery to correct a deviated septum. Cocaine and decongestants cause the constriction of blood vessels within the nose. In a healthy nose, the blood vessels nourish the septal membranes, but when the blood is restricted, the delicate membranes start to die from lack of oxygen, and a hole develops. As the hole becomes large, the symptoms worsen. In extreme cases, the bridge of the nose starts to collapse and form what is referred to as a ‘“saddle nose” deformity.

What is septal perforation repair?

Septal perforation repair is a complex and incredibly challenging operation that requires the skills of an experienced facial plastic surgeon, like Dr. Klausner. The intricate repair involves the opening of the nose to reveal the septum and mucosal membranes above and below the hole. The right and left sides of the septal membranes are then elevated and advanced to cover the hole. A graft, like Alloderm® is then positioned between the repaired right and left membranes to support the repair and allow the site to heal.

It is imperative that the perforation repair is protected following the surgery and that it receives acceptable postoperative blood flow so the site heals properly. Silastic sheets are placed on both sides of the repair and left in place for at least 21 days. It can take several months for the site to fully heal and the perforation to close. Failure of a septal perforation repair can occur if you smoke or are around someone who smokes, continue to use cocaine, pick the nose, use decongestants, apply topical nasal steroids, or have untreated diabetes.

Schedule a consultation for septal perforation today

Do you suffer from septal perforation? No one should have to live with a septal perforation which will only worsen in time and could lead to an entire nose collapse. Contact Lee Ann M. Klausner M.D., PLLC to schedule a complete examination with female facial plastic surgeon Dr. Lee Ann M. Klausner to determine the extent of your condition to discuss the needed treatment to repair the condition.

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