Septal hematoma occurs if blood builds up in the septum or area in the nose between the nostrils. Generally, some form of injury disrupts the blood vessels and tugs away the lining from the cartilage, thus allowing the buildup of blood in between. The blood drains from the damaged blood vessels into the adjacent tissue and results to pain, pressure and bruising.
It is generally caused by nasal injuries which is the common form of trauma on the face. A broken nose, injury to the soft tissues or surgery are frequent cases of septal hematoma. The condition is prevalent among children since they have a thicker septum with a flexible lining.
What are the signs?
The nasal septum is typically thin and stiff. If the individual has a septal hematoma, the doctor can press it down with a swab since the site is soft. The doctor can also look within the nose if there is any swelling amidst the nostrils.
Other signs that might be present include:
- Difficulty breathing via the nose
- Changes in the overall form of the nose
Management of a septal hematoma
A septal hematoma necessitates immediate treatment to stop other complications from developing. The doctor will assess the extent of damage and decide on the ideal course of treatment.
Drainage is necessary that can be done in 2 procedures. The procedure that the doctor selects is based on the size of the clot or swelling.
If the condition is promptly treated and relatively small, a miniature incision is created to allow the blood to drain out. In case the hematoma was left untreated, the doctor might introduce a mechanism to completely drain the blood from the site.
Once fully drained, the doctor will pack the nasal cavity using gauze. An appointment is set days after to have the gauze removed. At this point, the doctor will check how healing has progressed.