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Deviated Septum

The nasal septum is a structure in the middle of the nose that is composed of cartilage and bone and lined on both sides by the nasal mucous membrane. The septum completely separates the right and left nasal cavities, and the front-most portion of the cartilage has a role in external nasal structure and support. Nasal septal deviations, or areas of crookedness, are common and may cause nasal obstruction or blockage. These deviations may be congenital, meaning we are born with them, or traumatic from facial injuries. Sinusitis may develop if the septum is deviated in an area blocking the sinus drainage pathways. Medications usually have limited benefit because they cannot address the anatomic problem. Surgery helps straighten the septum to improve airflow; this surgery is termed septoplasty. At UC Irvine, Dr. Bhandarkar performs endoscope-assisted septoplasty using state of the art high definition equipment for superior visualization to target areas of deviation that may be otherwise difficult to identify.