A Practical Classification of Septonasal Deviation and an Effective Guide to Septal Surgery

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The conventional designation of septal pathology is a deviated septum, and the common treatment of choice is submucous resection of the septum. These limited generic terms leave the surgery open to frequent failure and render the education of this topic suboptimal. During 1224 septal surgeries, we have observed six different categories of septal deviation requiring different surgical treatments. A study was conducted to investigate the frequency of different classes of septal deviation and to develop guidelines for a more successful surgical correction of each category.

Ninety-three consecutive patients who underwent septoplasty were carefully evaluated for the type of septal deformity, age, gender, history of trauma, and previous septal surgery. The surgical technique was reviewed for each category of the septal deformity.

Of the 93 patients, 71 were women and 22 were men. Ages ranged from 13 to 76, with an average age of 31.5. Most patients exhibited a “septal tilt” deformity (40 percent; 37 of 93) or a C-shape anteroposterior deviation (32 percent; 30 of 93). The other deformities were C-shape cephalocaudal (4 percent; 4 of 93), S-shape anteroposterior (9 percent; 8 of 93), S-shape cephalocaudal (1 percent; 1 of 93), or localized deviations or large spurs (14 percent; 13 of 93).

Each of the six categories of septal deviation requires specific management. If a single procedure is selected for all of the septal deformities, disappointing results may ensue. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 104: 2202, 1999.)

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