First, what is pediatric septoplasty?
Before we share Arlo’s amazing success story, let’s define septoplasty. In a recent post, we outlined nasal obstruction and potential treatments, including septoplasty.
Specifically, rhinogenic headaches are a common symptom preceding a septoplasty.
Rhinogenic headache is a term that describes pain in the nose, face, and eyes that is directly related to a deformity or other condition of the nose such as a deviated septum. A deviated septum can potentially contact the inferior turbinate creating a contact point that can lead to same-sided nasal, facial and eye pain.
If the pain is severe enough, a septoplasty–removing the deviated part of the septum–may help alleviate the pain. While a rare cause of headache in children, a thorough evaluation by a qualified specialist is needed to determine whether this a cause of facial pain, eye pain or nasal obstruction in your child.
Dr. Sheyn’s Diagnosis and Treatment
One recent patient–Arlo Douglas–came to Dr. Sheyn after a long and painful journey with misdiagnosed and untreated pain. Dr. Sheyn describes:
“Arlo presented to me with a several month history of very specific facial pain around and behind his left eye. I was able to replicate the pain in the office and noted that it was caused by a bone spur coming off of his septum and touching the wall of his nose. Since he didn’t respond to medication including pain medicine and allergy medicines which can sometimes relieve symptoms, I recommended a septoplasty be performed where I would remove the bone spur. He underwent a successful surgery a few weeks later and after speaking to his parents, his pain had resolved the same day as his surgery.”
Patient Testimonial: Jennifer Douglas, Mother
At UTHSC ENT, the spotlight is on the patients. We’re always thrilled when a patient has such a positive, life-changing experience that they want to share their story.
It’s our pleasure to introduce Jennifer Douglas, Arlo’s mom. She describes Arlo’s journey, and how Dr. Sheyn provided Arlo world class treatment right in our hometown.
Jennifer Douglas – Memphis, TN:
“We had a 10-month journey with our son, Arlo. In March of 2021, he banged his nose into the back of his sister’s head. They were goofing around as bored 10- and 12-year-olds do. Arlo had a nosebleed, we cleaned him up and thought nothing about it. Within a few days he was having headaches in March, in Memphis. The natural assumption was allergies, he had trouble in the past.
We started on some seasonal allergy medications, seeing some improvement but not a lot. The headaches and constant pain around his eye lead us to our first allergist. Negative to everything. We went to the ENT that had put in Arlo’s tubes at 9 months old. He took x-rays and ordered an MRI. All things we had done before. The results of these tests that showed nothing that required surgery.
Arlo’s pain increased and his ability to function decreased. Summer came and it was easier to accommodate the headaches, the orbital pain, and the general grumpiness that comes from chronic pain. We saw the eye doctor, the dentist, and the pediatrician over the summer looking for answers or direction.
School started and he was a mess. We saw a second allergist, with the same results. This allergist suggested a pediatric neurologist and Dr. Sheyn. We saw the neurologist he ruled out migraine and suggested that it might be his Trigeminal nerve causing the pain. The doctor prescribed medicine that helped a little but was not enough relief.
Our next stop was Dr. Sheyn’s office. Because we were able to report all the results from the specialists, we had seen over the past 10 months; that we had e-rays and scans; and most certainly the faces of stressed-out parents Dr. Sheyn said, “I think I know what this is, I have written a paper about it.”
He proceeded to ask Arlo questions about his pain. And he waited for Arlo to answer. Then he wanted to recreate the pain on the other side. Arlo thought this was a terrible idea, who wants more pain? Dr. Sheyn explained that it would be for just a moment and would quickly confirm what the problem was and what the solution would be. Arlo was on board to find a solution.
After recreating the pain on the other side, Dr. Sheyn reported that the depth of Arlo’s deviated septum was significant and resting on nerves that surround the eye. Not something you can see in an x-ray or an MRI and something that happens frequently.
Surgery was scheduled and completed in two weeks. Arlo woke up with no orbital eye pain. Some swelling and discomfort but needed over the counter pain medication for a day.
Our experience with Dr. Sheyn was a really great one. His level of expertise lead him to find the answer for my son. He engaged in conversation with my son; and answered all Arlo’s questions. My kid likes to joke and banter with people, Dr. Sheyn gave as good as he got with Arlo. We had relaxed and comfortable visits with Dr. Sheyn. It seems this is a busy practice and run efficiently without giving up personal care.”
How our Dream Team can help:
UTHSC ENT truly provides world class treatment in your hometown. If your child is experiencing an ear, nose, or throat issue, Dr. Anthony Sheyn should be your first call! We’d love to hear from you: (901) 287-7337