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Massachusetts Eye and Ear
/assets/MEE/images/mgb-default-thumb.png Septal Perforation

Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery

Septal Perforation

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The septum is the bone and cartilage in the middle of your nose, dividing the left and right nostrils. The front part of the septum is what you see between your nostrils, but the septum is actually very long and extends far back into the nose.

Septal perforation is a hole in the septum that creates a communication between the right and left nasal cavities. Perforations can occur due to complications in surgery, aggressive cautery for recurrent nosebleeds, nasal trauma or fracture, infection, or from certain autoimmune diseases. They can also be caused by nasal drug abuse (i.e., cocaine).

6Common Symptoms

  • Crusting in the nose
  • Intermittent bleeding
  • A feeling of nasal obstruction
  • A feeling of nasal obstruction
  • Saddle nose (when the tip of the nose droops)
  • Some patients do not experience any symptoms

Diagnosis and Treatment

Septal perforation is diagnosed by an endoscopic examination of your nasal cavity. In some cases, additional testing such as blood work or a biopsy of the perforation may be needed to rule out causes.

Small to medium sized perforations can be surgically repaired, while larger ones are more difficult. In many cases, keeping the inside of the nose moist will alleviate most, if not all, symptoms.

Meet Our Team

Our Sinus Center is comprised of surgeons and supportive staff specially trained to care for your sinuses and related nasal disorders.

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