Septoplasty is surgery for the prevention of nasal obstruction. The displacement of the wall between the nostrils is a deviated septum and sometimes induces these blockages. Some of the sections of the nose can also be blocked by swollen bone structures called turbinates. The surgeon will perform septoplasty for the treatment of long-term Sinusitis, remove nasal polyps, and treat other conditions which block the nasal airway. By removing the deviated section and restructuring the residual bone and cartilage, septoplasty helps to straighten the septum as much as possible in the midline position and clear the airway.

Purpose of Septoplasty

A crooked septum is prevalent. But a deviated septum can block one side of your nose and decrease airflow when it's serious, causing trouble breathing through one or both sides of your nose. Septoplasty straightens the nasal septum by trimming, repositioning and replacing the cartilage, bone or both.

  • To repair the deformed nasal septum that may be caused by a birth defect or an injury.
  • Difficulty breathing through the nose properly
  • Increased oral respiration, which can cause infections in the mouth
  • To treat nosebleeds that are uncontrollable due to unnecessary drying of the nose.
  • To treat discharge of the nasal or sinuses
  • The swelling of the nose
  • Increased sinus headaches
  • To find other issues in the nose, septoplasty is often recommended to see clearly within the nose.

Septoplasty Procedure

The doctor will give a brief on the Septoplasty procedure to the patient in detail which also includes the risks.

Before the Septoplasty Procedure:

  • The doctor may have a full medical history of the patient, i.e. details of all the diseases, allergies, surgeries, past or other prevalent conditions that the patient has undergone. The doctor will also inquire whether the patient is actually taking any drugs, or has taken them in the past.
  • A complete physical examination is done by the doctor and especially focuses on the in and out of the breathing of the nose.
  • The patient is asked to avoid any blood-thinning medications such as Ibuprofen, aspirin and other medicines before the Septoplasty procedure.
  • The patient is also advised not to eat or drink after midnight i.e. before the surgery.

During the Septoplasty Procedure

  • The septoplasty repositions surgical operation straightens the bone by trimming and then removes the bone and the cartilage. Local anesthesia is administered to the patient during the operation, i.e. only to the nose of the patient. The surgeon may feel the need to prescribe general anesthesia in some cases. In this case, the patient complete body become numb and can go into a temporary state of unconsciousness atleast for a few hours.
  • A painkiller is given to the infected nose. On one side of the patient's nose, an incision is made. As a result, it lifts the mucous membrane that protects the nose wall. In order to provide good support to the nasal septum, the surgeon then puts some soft splints made of silicone into the nose, in each nostril of the patient.

After the Septoplasty procedure

  • It is recommended that the patient not undergo strenuous physical activity or exercises. This is to stop issues with nose-bleeding after the procedure.
  • Not to blow the nose, as it may contribute to the opening of the nose sutures or interrupt the process of healing.
  • When sleeping, keep the nose elevated.
  • If the patient has a problem with constipation, then it is recommended that laxatives soften the stool.
  • Stop scratching your nose or rubbing it.
  • For at least 1 day after the surgery, stop taking a bath. Sponges are the perfect way to cleanse the body.

Recovering from Septoplasty

Septoplasty is usually performed as an outpatient procedure unless major complications arise. It means that you will be able to go home on the same day as the procedure as the anesthesia worn off. The nose will be swollen, painful and packed with cotton to control bleeding. A day or two after surgery, the wrapping may be removed. You will also be given pain medicine by your doctor as appropriate. You would possibly be asked by the doctor to stop aspirin, ibuprofen, and other blood-thinning medications. This is done after the operation to lower the risk of bleeding issues.

Outlook after the Septoplasty procedure

The wound in your nose will heal very quickly, and immediately after the operation, your breathing is likely to improve. The overall process of recovery, however, can be sluggish. It may take up to a year for cartilage and other nasal tissues to completely settle into their new form.

After the surgery, most individuals report no symptoms. The cartilage and nasal tissues, however, begin to move with time in some instances and gradually obstruct airflow through the nose again. This means that to reshape the nose and septum further, a second surgery would be required.

Risks of Septoplasty Procedure

Septoplasty carries risks, including bleeding, infection and an adverse reaction to the anesthetic, as with any major operation. Other potential septoplasty-specific risks include:

  • Nasal obstruction
  • Excessive Bleeding
  • Decreased in the sense of smell
  • Blood clotted in the nasal space
  • Temporary numbness in the upper gum, teeth or nose

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long does it take to recover from a deviated septum surgery?

In 1 to 2 months, most individuals recover completely. In the 3 to 4 months after your procedure, you will have to see your doctor. Your doctor is going to confirm if your nose is healing well.

2. How painful is a deviated septum surgery?

For two to three days, you should expect some swelling around the nose and might elect to miss a few days of work or school until the nose recovers. After surgery, there is generally little pain. Your surgeon can prescribe over-the-counter pain medicine, such as acetaminophen if you feel discomfort.

3. How is septoplasty done?

Under general anesthesia, septoplasty surgery is performed. The tissue (mucosa) covering the septum is raised up through an incision made within the nostril to allow the surgeon to see the bone and cartilage directly.

4. How do you sleep after a septoplasty?

After surgery, you will have to sleep with your head raised for 24-48 hours to help the bleeding slow down and help resolve the swelling. Set up your bed with at least two pillows before surgery so that you can hold your head up at night.