Many patients inquire about septoplasty for nasal obstruction, or difficulty breathing through the nose, and ask whether I perform suture technique to straighten the septum. The answer to this is ‘no’ in terms of my primary surgical technique for septoplasty. The reason for this is that the cartilage of the septum has what we call ‘memory’, which means that it has a tendency to go back to its original shape if given the opportunity. Conservative methods of straightening the septum like just suturing the cartilage are highly prone to failure because the cartilage memory overrides the suture tension. The end result is that the cartilage bends back to its original crooked shape. In order to effectively straighten a deviated septum, the surgeon normally has to cut the cartilage at the very least to permanently reshape it. By cutting the septum in strategic locations one can completely erase the memory issue and provide a long-term improvement.
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