Deviated Nasal Septum
The nasal septum is the wall that divides the nose into two nostrils. It is made up of rigid bone at the back of the nose and flexible cartilage at the front.
Having a twisted, bent or deviated septum is actually very common. Most people have at least a small bend. The deviation occurs as a result of trauma to the nose such as a football injury, or it may be there at birth, or occur during a difficult delivery, or be a familial trait!
Most children with a septal deviation don't even know that they have it, or it causes little symptoms. However, it can cause problems such as one-sided blocked nose, or predispose to nosebleeds.
Surgery to correct the deviated nasal septum is called a septoplasty. ENT surgeons have concerns about carrying out septoplasty in children, because of worries that surgery could affect the growth of the nose. The septum gives the nose shape and support, and if we operate on the growing nasal septum cartilage, there is concern that surgery could interfere with how the nose and the septum grow. Therefore, in practice, we usually advise against surgery until the late teenage years. On occasion, surgery may be offered sooner at a younger age. Other treatments to help nasal symptoms could still be available, even if surgical correction isn't possible.
Nilesh Vakharia MBBS BSc
Core Surgery Doctor