The nasal septum is a structure of cartilage and bone that divides the inside of the nose into two sides. A septal perforation occurs when there is a defect, or hole, in both sides of the lining and the cartilage or bone.
There are many causes for a septal perforation, including:
- Nasal trauma
- Prescription and illegal drug use
- Inflammatory disorders
- Prior nasal surgery
- Cancer (although this is rare)
When a septal perforation is detected, it is important to determine the cause for the perforation and prescribe appropriate medical treatment when necessary. Often, this includes simply keeping the nose clean and moist with nasal saline spray and topical ointment.
While there are typically no outward signs of septal perforations, they may cause symptoms such as:
- Nasal blockage
- A whistling noise with breathing
If medical treatment does not alleviate symptoms, surgery may be needed. The perforation may be repaired by using a septal button, which is a soft, plastic implant that is placed into the perforation and serves as a plug. The implant is not visible, does not hurt, typically stays in for as long as needed, and can be removed at any time. Depending upon the size and scope of the perforation, other surgical methods may be needed.
At the Raleigh Capitol Sinus & Allergy Center, our experienced surgeons will promptly evaluate your condition. After a thorough evaluation, our surgeons will discuss treatment options with you and help you decide which treatment option is best for you. All of our physicians are affiliated with Raleigh Capitol Ear, Nose & Throat.
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