Deviated Septum
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What Is a Deviated Septum?

A deviated septum is a condition in which the nasal septum, the bone and cartilage that divides your two nostrils, is significantly off center. It can be present at birth, or develop later in life due to an injury. Having a deviated septum might cause impaired breathing through one or both nostrils, often leading to difficulty sleeping.

nose Deviated septum illustration photo

Can a Deviated Septum Be Fixed?

Yes, it can. In some cases, a deviated septum can be corrected with a minimally invasive procedure called septoplasty. During this surgery, your doctor will remove parts of the bone and cartilage to restore proper alignment and open airways for improved breathing.

If you suspect that your septum may be deviated, it is critical to seek the advice of a board-certified expert in rhinoplasty like Dr. Rizk to ensure appropriate treatment. With his expertise and experience in nose surgery, he will help ensure the best possible outcome for your particular situation.

Septoplasty for Deviated Septum

Expert New York rhinoplasty surgeon Dr. Rizk, performs a nose surgery called septoplasty to correct a deviated septum. During the procedure, Dr. Rizk will make small incisions in the nostrils and remove parts of the bone and cartilage to realign the nasal passages and improve breathing. The surgery itself is typically done under general anesthesia and usually takes less than two hours to complete.

Determining Cause & Treatment for a Deviated Septum

In some cases, the cause of a deviated septum1 may not be known until after surgery. In addition to determining the underlying cause, Dr. Rizk will work with you to determine the best treatment plan for your particular situation. Depending on your individual needs, this could include a combination of septoplasty and rhinoplasty to reshape the contours of your nose and make breathing easier.

If you have a nasal septum deviation and experience breathing problems, you may have used nasal sprays and decongestants to manage your symptoms. These treatments, while helpful in the short-term, may not be able to correct the underlying issue permanently. If you’re looking for a more permanent solution that can improve your breathing and overall health, contact Dr. Rizk today to learn more about correcting your deviated septum with septoplasty surgery2.

Causes of Deviated Septum

Genetics | Born with Deviated Nasal Septum

Genetics can play a role in having a deviated septum. If one or both parents have a deviated septum, then the condition is more likely to be passed down to their offspring. This means that an individual could be born with the condition and not realize it until later in life when they start suffering from nasal congestion or difficulty breathing. Because genetics are a factor in deviated septum cases, it is important to talk to your family about any similar conditions that may run in the family.

Injury | Septal Injury

Injury is another factor that can lead to a nasal septum deviation. An impact to the nose, such as during contact sports or from an automobile accident, can cause trauma to the nasal septum and result in a deviation. In some cases, the septum may have been previously deviated and an injury can make it worse. Therefore, it is important to speak with your doctor if you experience any trauma to your nose or signs of a deviated septum in order to prevent further complications.

Inflammatory Processes | Nasal Polyps

Inflammatory processes, such as nasal polyps3, can also lead to a deviated septum. Nasal polyps are noncancerous growths in the nose that can cause obstruction and blockage to one or both nostrils. They often form due to chronic inflammation of the sinuses caused by allergies or infection. In some cases, polyps can be surgically removed, while in other cases they may require medications to reduce the size. If left untreated, polyps can cause a deviated septum and make it more difficult to breathe.

Other Causes | Tumors & Infections

Other causes for a deviated septum include tumors and infections. Tumors can grow in the nasal cavity, which can cause obstruction and deviation of the septum. Infections, such as sinusitis, can also lead to inflammation of the lining of the nose, which can cause a deviation of the septal cartilage. This can cause pain and difficulty breathing, so it is important to talk to your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.

If you think that you have a deviated septum and are looking for an experienced surgeon to help, please contact Dr. Rizk. He will be happy to provide more information about the procedure and answer any questions that you may have.

Meet Dr. Rizk | Expert Deviated Septum Rhinoplasty in New York

Dr. Rizk specializes in correcting deviated nasal septum cases with deviated septum surgery. He is an expert septoplasty surgeon who has been successfully performing corrective surgery for many years. He understands the intricate nature of the human nose, including its anatomy and function, which is why his results are exceptional. He takes a comprehensive approach to your nose and focuses on both the aesthetic outcomes as well as the function of the nasal airway. Dr. Rizk utilizes advanced techniques to ensure that your procedure is successful, including imaging technology and measurements to measure the nasal tip angle and rotation. He also employs minimally invasive techniques to minimize scarring and ensure maximum comfort during the surgery. Schedule a consultation with him today.

Dr Rizk In The Media

Tatler Magazine

Connolly Best Doctor

US Weekly Magazine

Dr. Rizk featured in Town & Country Magazine as one of the masters of the subtle lift and tweak that will turn back time

Voted by peers to New York Magazine's 2013 Top Doctors

Voted by peers to New York Magazine’s 2013 Top Doctors

Latest Advances in Facelift/Necklift Surgery in Plastic Surgery Practice Magazine (Dec'08)

New Advances in Facelifting Techniques by Dr. Sam Rizk

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if you don’t fix a deviated septum?

If left untreated, a deviated septum can lead to difficulty breathing and can cause chronic sinus infections. It can also lead to a cosmetic deformity.

What is the success rate of deviated septum surgery?

Deviated septum surgery has a high success rate. Studies show that it is successful in up to 96% of cases.

Do you need a cast after deviated septum surgery?

In most cases, no cast is required after deviated septum surgery. In some cases, though, your doctor may recommend wearing a plastic splint to aid healing and protect the nose from trauma. Your doctor can discuss this with you before your procedure.

Can you prevent a deviated septum?

Although there is no sure way to prevent a nasal septum deviation, certain measures can be taken to reduce the likelihood of developing one. These include avoiding or limiting contact sports or other activities that pose an increased risk of injury, avoiding tobacco products and pollutants, and avoiding any activities that may cause trauma to the nose.

How serious is a deviated septum?

A deviated septum can be a serious condition if left untreated. The obstruction of the nasal airways can lead to difficulty breathing, chronic sinus infections, and a cosmetic deformity. It is important to talk to your doctor if you think you may have a deviated septum. They can help determine the best course of action for your individual situation.

What is the main cause of a deviated septum?

The main cause of a deviated nasal septum is trauma to the nose, such as an injury or accident. Other causes include polyps, tumors and infections. It is important to talk to your doctor if you think that one of these conditions may be affecting your breathing.

How do you fix a deviated septum?

Deviated septum surgery, also known as septoplasty, is the most common treatment for this condition. During this procedure, your doctor will reshape and reposition the cartilage in your nose to correct the deviation of your septum. This can provide relief from breathing issues caused by a deviated septum and improve the overall appearance of your nose.


1Mayo Clinic. Deviated septum – Overview. Available:

2NCBI. Septoplasty – Carolina Watters, Sabrina Brar, Sharinie Yapa. Available:

3Hopkins Medicine. Nasal Polyps – Jean Kim, M.D., Ph.D. Available:

Sam Rizk, MD

By Dr. Sam S. Rizk, M.D., FACS.

Dr. Rizk is a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon who specializes in rhinoplasty surgery and a recognized expert on the latest advances in facial plastic surgery techniques. He performs a range of facial plastic surgeries at his New York practice.

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