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Is it hard to breathe easily, especially when you sleep or exercise? Do you feel congested a lot?

If your septum (the cartilage and bone in your nose) is crooked or bent instead of straight (deviated septum), it can block one or both of your nostrils and mess with airflow through your nose. You might also feel congested a lot, and when you have a cold, breathing through your nose is even tougher. You could’ve been born with a deviated septum. Or an injury may have caused it. But no matter how you got it, you don’t have to live with it.

A minor surgery called septoplasty might help. Cleveland Clinic’s head and neck providers are experts in this common procedure. They can walk you through what to expect and get you back to breathing easier.

Why Choose Cleveland Clinic for Septoplasty?

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Minimally invasive options:

In most cases, we can repair your deviated septum entirely inside your nose, so we don’t have to make incisions (cuts) in the skin outside your nose. This helps eliminate the risk of scarring and speeds recovery.

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Collaborative care:

If you need complex septoplasty surgery, like total septum reconstruction or a septoplasty and rhinoplasty (nose reshaping), Cleveland Clinic has all the providers you need. And they work together to make sure you get the right care with the best possible results. Meet our team.

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Virtual visits:

Meet with your provider one-on-one from the comfort and privacy of your home. Virtual visits let you get convenient follow-up care after your deviated septum treatment. All you need is a smartphone, tablet or computer — and an internet connection.

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National recognition:

U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Cleveland Clinic a top hospital in the nation. Newsweek has also named us a top hospital in the world.

Septoplasty Consultation at Cleveland Clinic

Septoplasty is a surgery inside your nose that straightens a deviated septum. The septum is the center of your nose that divides it into two chambers, or nostrils.

Even if you’ve already been diagnosed with a deviated septum, we’ll want to meet with you before we schedule any surgery. We want to confirm that a deviated septum is the root of your problem and make sure septoplasty is the best treatment for your needs.

What to expect at your first visit

At your appointment, your provider will ask what symptoms you’re having, how long you’ve had them and how they affect your life.

You’ll also want to tell your provider about any nose or facial injuries or surgeries you’ve had in the past and if you have allergies, chronic sinus infections, diabetes or other ongoing conditions.

During this visit, you’ll also have a physical exam. And your provider will open your nostrils with a tool called a nasal speculum. They may look inside your nose with a rhinoscope — a thin, tube-like instrument that has a light and a magnifying lens. And they’ll press on your nose to check the cartilage and bone in your septum.

You may also have a nasal endoscopy or CT scan (computed tomography scan) at this visit or a future one to take a closer look at the inside of your nose and sinuses.

Meet Our Septoplasty Team

When you come to Cleveland Clinic for septoplasty, you’ll have a team of expert providers working together to make sure you get a surgery plan and follow-up care that meets your unique needs. Your team may include:


Our healthcare providers see patients at convenient locations throughout Northeast Ohio, Florida and London.

Having Septoplasty at Cleveland Clinic

Once you meet with us, and we look at our notes and the test results, we’ll plan and schedule surgery to repair your deviated septum. We make sure you have the most personalized surgery plan possible.

What to expect during surgery

We do most routine septoplasties inside your nose, so there’s no visible incision (cut). The surgery usually takes between 30 and 90 minutes. General anesthesia will put you to sleep during the procedure so you won’t feel pain. And you’ll able to go home the same day.

During the procedure, your surgeon will make a small cut inside your nose and lift away the mucous membrane that covers your septum. This lets them get to the crooked cartilage and bone. They’ll straighten your deviated septum by removing and repositioning bone and cartilage. Then, they’ll put the membrane back in place and secure it with dissolvable stitches.

Your surgery could differ if we combine your septoplasty and other nose treatments, like rhinoplasty or turbinate reduction. Septoplasty may also be part of functional endoscopic sinus surgery if a deviated septum causes chronic sinus problems. A septoplasty with rhinoplasty usually requires a small incision in the skin beneath your nose, between your nostrils.

What to expect after surgery

It usually takes about a week to recover from septoplasty surgery. But your bone and cartilage will continue healing for up to a year.

After your surgery, you may have splints in your nose to support your repaired septum. Splints typically stay in place for approximately one week.

You may have some pain, bleeding and swelling after your septoplasty. We’ll send you home with instructions to help you manage this. You’ll want to avoid exercise and heavy lifting until your providers tell you it’s OK to return to your routine.

Taking the Next Step

A deviated septum can make breathing difficult. Septoplasty is a minor surgery that can open your nasal passages, improving airflow and making it easier to breathe. Cleveland Clinic’s expert providers can walk you through what to expect from this surgery and help you decide if it’s right for you.

Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic’s septoplasty experts is easy. We’re here to help you get the care you need.


Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic’s septoplasty experts is easy. We’re here to help you get the care you need.

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