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What are the risks of surgery for a deviated septum?

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No surgery is completely risk-free, and the benefits of undergoing surgery -- in this case, being able to breathe better -- must outweigh the risks. Septoplasty and septorhinoplasty are common and safe procedures; side effects are rare. Still, talk with your doctor about the possible risks of surgery before you make a treatment decision.

Although rare, risks of septoplasty and/or rhinoplasty may include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Hole (perforation) of the septum
  • Loss of the ability to smell

SOURCES:

American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery: "Fact Sheet: Deviated Septum" and "Nose Surgery."

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center: "Deviated Septum."

American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery: "Surgery of the Nose."

American Rhinologic Society: "Septoplasty and Turbinate Reduction."

American Sleep Apnea Association: "Sleep Apnea Information."

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on December 16, 2020

SOURCES:

American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery: "Fact Sheet: Deviated Septum" and "Nose Surgery."

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center: "Deviated Septum."

American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery: "Surgery of the Nose."

American Rhinologic Society: "Septoplasty and Turbinate Reduction."

American Sleep Apnea Association: "Sleep Apnea Information."

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on December 16, 2020

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When should I see a doctor about a deviated septum?

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