Some patients don’t realize how much their breathing has been restricted until after surgery.

The Procedure In


Septoplasty is a surgical procedure in which a crooked or deviated septum is straightened. The septum is a crucial component to how the nose both looks and functions. Interruption in air flow can have a significant negative impact on daily living. Like people with poor vision, trying glasses for the first time, post-septoplasty patients often cannot believe how much of a difference the surgery can make.

Successful treatment for patients with nasal obstruction begins with proper diagnosis. Obstruction most often occurs at the nasal septum, nasal valve areas, or small bones in the nose called turbinates. Identifying which structures are responsible provides the basis for determining what procedures are needed. The diagnosis is also important to determine if the obstruction is something that surgery can correct.

It is not uncommon for functionally compromised nose to also be unattractive. Rhinoplasty and Septoplasty are often performed together. Having a functional nose that is aesthetically balanced with your face can lead to better breathing and greater overall self-confidence.

Surgical Notes



Length of Surgery

1-2 hours depending upon complexity

Outpatient / Inpatient


Adjunct Procedures

Rhinoplasty, Turbinate Reduction


1-2 weeks

Dr. Lee's Priorities &


Dr. Lee strongly believes that great surgery requires a meticulous attention to detail. Dr. Lee prefers using an open approach septoplasty. This requires a very small incision hidden underneath the nose. All other incisions are made inside the nose.

These incisions allow Dr. Lee to visualize the entire septum and identify where the problem is located. All potential areas of obstruction are methodically treated to maximize the surgical result. Dr. Lee is not only technically superb, but a visionary as well. Every dimension and proportion are carefully planned. Each alteration influences another structure, so a precise operative plan is essential. Dr. Lee speaks both nationally and internationally on nasal procedures, presenting both cutting edge research and surgical techniques. He is extensively published on the topic of rhinoplasty and septoplasty and continues to advance this subspecialty of plastic surgery.


Can you fix the inside of my nose and reshape it on the outside at the same time?

Yes. Often septoplasty involves removing deviated cartilage from the nose to improve the passage of air. This cartilage is frequently used in rhinoplasty (reshaping of the nose) to make the nose more aesthetically pleasing. Having both surgeries performed at the same time not only limits recovery to one operation but also optimizes the overall result. Many times, a nose that looks bad also has obstruction. This is particularly true when there is a significant deviation. I believe in treating the nose to maximize both the look of the nose and the way it functions.

Is there a situation where septoplasty is not the answer to my breathing problems?

Yes. If the breathing problems are due to something being “out of place” such as a deviated septum or large turbinate, then surgery is likely to help. However, if the symptoms are related to allergic responses alone, then surgery is not likely to help. Often there is a combination of true anatomic structures that are causing obstruction along with the presence of allergic responses. In this case, surgery may be indicated but patients should realize they will likely require ongoing medical treatment.

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