Surgery for a deviated septum in babies is not a viable treatment option due to a number of reasons. The major problem is the small size of the septum of the child. As a result deviated septum surgery is used if and only if the deviation is very severe, causing a lot of pain and discomfort to the child, all other temporary treatment options have been tried.
Deviated Septum Surgery for Babies
Septoplasty is the surgery used to treat a deviated septum. As of today it is the only permanent cure available, all the medications commonly prescribed, only treat the problem which is caused by the deviated septum and not the deviated septum itself. Thus the problems associated with a deviated septum will continue to occur.
During septoplasty the surgeon will cut through the skin and mucosa of the nose to reach the cartilage (the body part which makes up the septum, where the deviation occurs). Once the cartilage is reached, the part which is deviated is cut off and removed. This is followed by repositioning of the nasal septum i.e. to straighten it. Once it is straightened, the mucosa is replaced and the skin is reattached using sutures. While this procedure is extremely effective and allow for free and smooth breathing after recovery, it has its share of risks and problems which prevents its usage in babies.
Why Deviated Septum Surgery for Babies is not preferred?
There are two reasons why septoplasty is usually not performed for babies:
- Size: Newborn children are tiny and their nasal septum is even smaller. Unlike adults were the surgeon has easy access to the nasal septum, in babies the space allowed for movement is very small. Additionally the tools used for the surgery will be too large for babies. Thus surgery to cure a deviated septum in babies is used as a last case scenario alone.
- Surgery Related Risks: Babies are much more prone to infections, do not have the same fighting and pain withstanding capacity of adults. Additionally surgery has its own share of risks from those related to anaesthesia to the pain of recovery; the recovery process from surgery is very arduous. Babies may not be able to withstand such levels of pain.
Thus treatment of a deviated septum in babies involves the use of medication, surgery is commonly used once the child has grown a bit, it is used in new born children only under very serious cases.