Health and Beauty

What Is a Septal Perforation? How Can You Know Whether You Need Surgery?

Suppose someone tells you that you have a septal perforation. Considering you know about it, you might first get it checked and treated as soon as possible. But why?

So, if you have an idea about what septal perforation is, you might have understood the concern here. However, if you don’t know about it, understanding the reason might give you thrills!

Well, this blog is primarily for those who have no idea about this problem and the potential risks associated with it. Many assume that there are no major issues with a minor septal perforation. However, that’s not true. The perforated septum can pose several complications for you, so doctors often recommend getting it treated without delay.

But wait. Before diving into the details, it’s better to discuss the basics, like what exactly is a septal perforation in the first place.

Septal Perforation: An Overview

In order to understand septal perforation (or perforated septum), you first need to learn about the nasal septum in which it occurs. Well, a nasal septum is a part of your nose that runs entirely inside it and divides the right nostril from the left one. The front of the nasal septum is made of cartilage, while the back consists of bone.

When the nasal septum gets perforated, you will have a hole in a part of it. Simply put, it will open the path between the two sides of your nose. Due to this, the cartilage wall becomes thin, weakening its support to the middle and lower nasal bridge.

What Are the Common Causes of Septal Perforation?

With the above information, you might have understood the role of the nasal septum in your nose and what can happen when it gets perforated. So, let’s know about some common causes that lead to septal perforation.

Trauma and Septum Hematoma

A sports injury or accident that occurred in the past can lead to trauma, resulting in blood accumulation in the nasal septum. This condition is known as a hematoma. When the hematoma expands in the septum, it can disrupt the blood flow, leading to septal perforation.

Purposely Sniffing or Snorting Drugs or Chemicals

If you deliberately inhale illegal and harmful drugs, inflammation can occur inside your nose, damaging the nasal septum. Continuing this process causes permanent septal perforation.

In fact, misuse or overuse of OTC nasal sprays and steroids can damage the cartilage wall. Besides this, accidentally sniffing certain harmful chemical fumes or powder without any nasal protection can also lead to a perforated septum.

Infections and Diseases

Aside from trauma and drug inhalation, certain diseases and bacterial infections can also harm the nasal septum and destroy the cartilage that leads to perforation. Examples of such diseases are Hansen’s disease (Leprosy) and Syphilis.

Moreover, several other inflammatory disorders and autoimmune diseases, such as Granulomatosis Polyangiitis, Sarcoidosis, Relapsing Polychondritis, and Wegener’s Granulomatosis, degrade the cartilage gradually and result in septal perforation.

What Are the Symptoms of a Perforated Septum?

Where your septum is perforated, you can feel several uncomfortable symptoms that make you agitated and uneasy. One can figure it out through one or more symptoms mentioned below:

Nasal Crusting

The crust formation due to abnormal mucus production and accumulation is known as nasal crusting. Since the mucus is thick, it takes time to clear out — consequently, the crust forms, causing issues with breathing.

Moreover, these crusts can also emit a foul odour that people around you can easily observe. Due to this, you might need to visit doctors to remove the crusting around the edges of the nose holes.

Breathing Difficulty

If you are facing breathing issues or feel your nose is not functioning well, septal perforation might be the reason. When the nasal septum is perforated, the normal airflow and nasal cycle can get disturbed.

Nasal Bleeding

Due to the weakening of the cartilage wall and the formation of raw edges due to septal perforation, you can experience spontaneous bleeding unexpectedly. Blood loss can be significant if this process happens frequently.

You can also feel the formation of crust and scabs when the bleeding stops, which often clogs the nasal airway. To eliminate this, the treatment of septal perforation becomes excessively important.


When you breathe and the air flows through your nose, you might hear a whistling sound which might appear disgraceful and irritating. It normally happens when the perforation is not that intense.

Runny Nose

Another symptom of septal perforation can be a runny nose (or Rhinorrhea). It happens when the internal membranes of the nasal septum dry out due to an abnormal flow of air. In response, your nose gives rise to secretions to moist them, leading the nose to drip or run.

What Happens During Surgery after recovery house?

During the treatment of septal perforation, the doctors usually have two choices of surgeries to go with: closed surgery and open surgery.

In closed surgery, the doctors treat the issues by going in through your nostril openings. On the contrary, they open up your nose in open surgery for better access to Surgery after recovery house.

Although both ways can fix the issues, your doctor might choose a specific one based on the size and location of the perforated hole.

During the surgery, the doctors typically take tissue from your nose or other body parts (known as grafting) and use it to cover the hole formed due to septal perforation. Following this, they will overlap the area with new tissue on either side of the hole.

Although some doctors find this process enough, others rely on adding more support with cartilage, bones, and more tissue from other body parts. The entire procedure takes around one to three hours, and you can normally go home the same day. However, you might get drugs to aid you in sleeping through it.

How Can You Know Whether You Need Surgery?

Typically, doctors don’t recommend surgery in the first place if the perforation is not that intense. Instead, for the treatment of septal perforation, they will suggest a regular saline rinse or an ointment, in the beginning, to get you through with that.

You can apply nasal creams and antibacterial ointment to the nostrils to prevent tissue dryness, leading to nasal crusting, bleeding, and airflow blockage. However, these solutions are only applicable to address the symptoms of the perforated septum, not the perforation itself. If the symptoms are still the same or often increasing and the perforation is big enough, it’s time to go for a surgical method.

However, even a professional surgeon will first analyze the major cause of the hole, like an infection or tumor, and treat it first. After that, they will proceed to fix your perforated septum.

Wrapping Up

Septal perforation is a complex issue but can be treated using basic methods if traced in its initial stage. However, when it is intense and your nasal septum is not responding to the non-surgical procedures, it becomes crucial to get it repaired to avoid other major issues.
That time you need a professional nasal surgeon with expertise in treating perforated septum. In fact, a medically-advanced clinic, such as Rhinoplasty LDN, with experienced surgeons not only deals with the treatment of septal perforation but also helps reform the shape and structure of your nose.

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