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SEPTAL PERFORATION

Condition and symptoms

A nasal septal perforation is a defect through the mucosa and the cartilage of the nasal septum. 

The causes of a perforation include local trauma, local chondritis (inflammation of the cartilage), autoimmune causes, repeated cauterisation for nose bleeds, substance abuse, and, unfortunately, from past septal surgery.

The symptoms vary in intensity from mild to severe and can affect the quality of life of patients. Septal perforations located anteriorly are more likely to cause discomfort due to turbulent airflow resulting in a variety of symptoms including dryness, crusting, whistling, discharge, epistaxis, nasal obstruction, pain and structural or cosmetic deformities.

Treatment

Following your initial consultation and examination Mrs Bentley will often prescribe a combination of treatments which may include saline nasal douches (which assists with nasal crusting) as well as a course of topical antibiotic ointments.

If this conservative treatment fails to improve symptoms then surgery may be considered for closure. Septal perforation closure is a day case procedure under general anaesthetic.