Deviated Nasal Septum
(Bent or Crooked Nasal Septum)

The nasal septum is the cartilage and bone that separates the right and left airways in the nasal cavities.  It should ideally run down the centre, as it enables the air we breathe in to go smoothly into our lungs.

septoplasty pix 1
septoplasty pix 2

It is natural for some forms of nasal deviation to happen. However, severe imbalances will cause one sided (unilateral) nasal problems and could be easily corrected via a simple procedure to correct the crooked septum. Surgery involves correcting the septal deviation and repositioning the septum in the midline.  This procedure is known as Septoplasty. Septoplasty is done through the nose without any external cuts on the nose or face.


What are the symptoms of a Deviated Nasal Septum:

  • Nasal congestion / blocked nose (usually worse on 1 side, sometimes may occur on both sides)
  • Recurrent nosebleeds
  • Recurrent sinusitis
  • Headaches
  • Post nasal drip

If not treated, it will lead to

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Constant sinus infections
  • Snoring
  • Sleep apnea

How to diagnose Deviated Nasal Septum

A diagnosis will typically be made based on your symptoms and via a flexible nasal endoscope – a narrow telescope with a camera attached – is also used to examine the nasal cavity and nasopharynx to determine the extent of the deviation of the septum.

septoplasty touching

How is Septoplasty Done?

            • It is performed in the operating theatre under general anaethesia.
            • Procedure is about 45 minutes and it is painless when anaesthetic wears out
            • After the effects of the anaesthetic has worn off, patient can be discharged on the same day (day surgery)
            • It is a minimally invasive procedure that does not involve cutting of the skin
            • No external cut is done
            • High successful rates if done under skilled hands
Left DNS
Septum after septo

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Septoplasty hurt? How long does the pain last?

Septoplasty is performed under general anaesthesia in the operating theatre, so it will not hurt during the procedure.

After the anaesthesia wears off, you may experience some tenderness on the front of your nose but there will not be any pain.

What can I expect after Septoplasty?

The lining of the nose is always swollen after the operation and so you will feel blocked. Blowing your nose will not clear it. This will resolve after a few days. The external of the nose will not be swollen or bruised. There will not be any nasal cap on the external of the nose.

There will be dissolvable stitches so there is no need to remove any stitches after the surgery,

There will NOT be any packing in your nose for the majority of cases that I perform.  Only on very rare occasion, do I put nasal packing in the nose.

When can I breathe through my nose after Septoplasty?

You will be able to breathe through your nose immediately in the operation as I do not use nasal packing in majority of my cases.

What can I not do after Septoplasty?

You should avoid smoking and avoid contact with people who have colds or similar infections. Do not swim for 2 weeks after the surgery.

You should avoid doing straining exercises, lifting, bending for at least 14 days as these activities may promote bleeding.  Life exercise such as walking is encouraged.

Is this a cosmetic procedure? Can I claim from my medical insurance?

Septoplasty is performed to correct a deviated nasal septum.  They are done to address functional issues including obstructions to airflow through the nostrils.  It is not a cosmetic procedure. Most insurers cover this surgery as a medical procedure. It is best to confirm this with your insurer on your coverage for this procedure.

Do I need Septoplasty or rhinoplasty?

Your doctor will determine if you need one or both procedures.

If the deviated septum is mostly internal and functional, septoplasty would be sufficient. Rhinoplasty is a surgery to change the appearance of the nose. It is a cosmetic procedure.

How much does it cost to get a Septoplasty done?

There are a few components in the cost of every surgery.  There is surgeon fees, anaethetist fees, operating theatre charges which will depend on the hours in surgery, equipment used, medications used during surgery, ward charges, etc etc.  Thus it is not possible to quote a fee for the surgery without first examining the patient to understand the amount of work that needs to be done to correct the problem.

The cost of a first consultation $150, nasal endoscopy $350.  This is in Singapore dollars and it is subjected to 7% government taxes.  This visit is considered a Day Surgery.  Medisave and integrated shield policy (subjected to coverage) could be utilised to cover the cost of the first visit for Singaporeans/Permanent Residents.  Hospitalisation and surgical policies (subjected to coverage) could also be used on a reimbursement basis.

Video Explanations

Understand why your nose & sinus is blocked

In this video, Dr Kevin Soh reveals the different causes for block nose. He illustrates with interesting graphics and videos. Understand deviated nasal septum, nasal polyps, enlarged adenoids.