Common ENT Problems

Deviated Septum

It is not uncommon for children or young adults to have a deviated septum. This is a situation in which the plate that separates one nostril from the other has been damaged and is not in the midline of the nose blocking one or both sides of the nose for nasal breathing. This can lead to snoring, runny nose, congestion, sinus infections, sleep problems, daytime sleepiness, and non-restorative sleep. Behavioral issues can also arise from the fact that the child doesn't breathe or sleep very well and has incessant snoring. An evaluation should be made by an ear, nose, and throat doctor and oftentimes will have to be repaired by surgical means. The surgery for repairing a deviated septum is called a septoplasty and often takes less than 30 minutes to perform in an outpatient surgical center. If the child does have a deviated septum and requires surgical intervention, parents may accompany children into the operating room for general anesthesia. Recovery room time is typically less than 30 minutes and the child is discharged without having to spend the day or for that matter the night in a hospital. Postoperatively, packing is typically removed the next day and the child typically makes a very rapid recovery. At Pediatric Ear, Nose, & Throat Clinic, we have been taking care of children with deviated septum and nasal breathing issues for over 25 years. If you suspect your child has a deviated septum or your child has a problem breathing through one or both sides of the nose for longer than 3 months, please call 1-800-526-0998 for an evaluation by a board-certified ear, nose, and throat doctor.