Repair of Nasal Septal Perforation - Surgery Overview
The nasal septum is the structure between the nostrils that
separates the nasal passages. The septum, composed of cartilage and thin bone,
can develop a hole (perforation) in the cartilage as a complication of previous
nasal surgery, from cocaine use, excessive nose picking, trauma, cancer, or
diseases such as
syphilis. As damage reduces blood supply in the
septum, the cartilage begins to die, and a hole develops.
Some perforations can cause bleeding, pain, and a whistling sound
when inhaling. If dried blood or scabs build up, you could also have trouble
breathing through your nose.
Many perforations do not need to be closed. Small perforations may
need only frequent rinsing with
saltwater (saline) solutions and applying lubricating
gels. Both can be bought without a prescription.
Several surgical techniques may be used to close a larger
perforation. A surgeon may use tissue from inside your nose or from another
part of your body (autograft) to stitch into the hole. Other doctors may use
tissue to create a flap to cover the perforation.
Surgery for large perforations usually requires