During the course of evolution, the human nose has developed in to an efficient aerodynamic structure with specialised function of smell, flavor detection and as an aesthetic factor on the face. One distinguishes various races on the basis of the shape of the nose.
Nose regulates the breathing, it warms up the inhaling air up to 31-34 ° C & humidifies it up to 90-95 % . The upper part of the nose helps one to smell. The breathing out air aeriates the cavities around the nose, so called para nasal sinuses .
Nasal septum is the central partition of the nose. It rests in a bony groove and supports the other, cartilages to form the external nose; infact it works like a central pole – of a tent . It is said that “ where the septum goes there goes the nose”.
It is formed mainly of three components, one cartilaginous which lies in front and two bony parts which from its posterior part. They are covered by a mucosal lining.
The septum determines the dimension and the shape of the nose. If it is too long, the nose is over projected of if too short nose look receded. If the superoinferior dimension are short, it results in short depressed nose and if more then a hump appear on the nasal dorsum. If the nasal septum is dislocated, it results in nasal blockage or show externally as inequal nostrils.
It is interesting to note that human beings are the only one who while being born, pass through a tight birth canal, thus exerting pressure on the prominent and protruded human nose. It can damage the soft pliable nasal septum. It gets shifted or bend to one or the other side and cause nasal obstruction, or external deformity. Once the nose is obstructed infection sets in which shall cause headache, throat irritation, cough etc.
In a study of over 5000 cases various septal defects were detected, like septal projection in the nose causing nasal blockage in 80% cases others like septal dislocation will cause nasal blockage and asymmetry of the nostril. A septum may be bend on itself in form a ‘C ‘ or ‘S’ to cause nasal blockage. When the nasal septum is either causing nasal blockage or external deformity or the nose is rather long or short it needs to be corrected by surgery.
Ever since the first septal surgery was performed it has undergone sea of changes. Firstly it was surgically removed, later it was resected and the mucosal layers were left behind. By the end of last century, a conservative a technique of septoplasty has come up, where only the defect is corrected.
For example, a lateral projection is called a spur and is causing nasal blockage is removed by a technique called spurectomy, a dislocated nasal septum is restored back in its natural position or a deviation is corrected by giving multiple incision and straightening the defect.
All these procedure are done under anesthesia as a day care surgery. The nasal cavities are packed with medicated material , which is taken out in about 48 hours, till then one can enjoy breathing through mouth. There after the nose is opened and has a midline shape to enjoy.