Septoplasty is a procedure to correct a deviated nasal septum. The deviated septum may cause nasal obstruction or congestion. It should be considered if medical treatment such as use of allergy medications is ineffective in adequately relieving symptoms of nasal blockage. Recommendations will be made based on patient specific history, actual exam findings including specialized nasal exam, and possibly CT (CAT) scan imaging.
Adobe Stock – deviated or
crooked nasal septum (middle divider
between the two nostrils)
At Nevada Sinus Relief, septoplasty is commonly performed in the office using local anesthesia techniques as well as light oral sedation. A mild anti-anxiety medication is prescribed to help relax you. It is usually taken two hours before arriving to the office. We do not use general anesthesia or IV sedation, therefore you will be awake. However, many of our patients have slept through their procedure because the medications that they take before arriving to the office can cause drowsiness.
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What Is A “Deviated Nasal Septum”?
The nasal septum is a partition of cartilage that separates the nose into two distinct chambers. This cartilage should pass directly between the outer edges of the nostrils but, in many cases, it does not. A deviated septum occurs when the piece of cartilage bends too far to one side. A deviated septum is not an uncommon procedure. Many people have a deviated septum that is not symptomatic. This can be because the deviation is very subtle. A more pronounced deviation of the septum can cause a person to feel perpetually congested or plagued by chronic nasal discharge. Conversely, sinus drainage may be impaired by the deviated septum. This could result in recurrent sinus infections.
Why Is My Septum Deviated?
According to studies, more than 80% of the population has a deviated septum. There are varying degrees of deviation, and the problem may occur for several different reasons. A person may have a deviated septum at birth due to a developmental issue or a difficult birth. Injuries to the nose are also commonly related to deviated septums. That said, the deviation may also happen during the normal developmental process.
Will the Structure of My Nose Be Altered After Surgery?
The nasal septum is part of the structure of the nose. In its position, the septum affects the length and height of the nose, as well as its midline position. If septoplasty modifies the dimensions of the septum, it can significantly impact the overall appearance of the nose. In cases involving a more severe deviation, septoplasty can achieve wildly satisfying cosmetic improvement.
How Much Pain Will I Have?
The standard septoplasty procedure is performed through the nostrils. This is referred to as a closed surgery. As a closed nose surgery, septoplasty typically does not cause significant bruising around the eyes. However, patients can expect some tenderness and pain at the front of the nose, as well as some congestion due to swelling and nasal drainage. Initially, patients may rely on prescription pain medication to manage comfort. Ice packs can also be applied to the nose to reduce swelling and discomfort. A bag of frozen peas may be ideal because it can be formed around the nose without much pressure.
Can I Shower After Having a Septoplasty?
You can shower on the second day after your septoplasty procedure. When washing your face and body, use a gentle cleanser like Cetaphil. Rather than directly washing your nose, was around your face and let the water and soap run over the entirety of your face. You may use a damp cloth if you wish. While you can shower, you mustn't submerge your head in water for two weeks after your surgery. You cannot see them, but you have internal incisions that are healing. After a septoplasty, it is important that you walk (with assistance) every few hours. This helps prevent the formation of blood clots. While walking is necessary, strenuous activity must be avoided for at least two weeks. When activity does resume, it should be done slowly and with gentle exercises like light strength training, yoga, and stretching. Your post-operative instructions discuss bathing, medication use, rest, and several other guidelines. Read through them carefully and contact our office if you have any questions.
Preparing for Septoplasty
If a septoplasty is scheduled, certain medications should be discontinued seven days prior to the procedure. These medications include aspirin, Advil, Motrin, Aleve (naproxyn), and in general, drugs that decrease the ability for the blood to clot. Certain supplemental or herbal medications may also increase the risk of bleeding. Theses include Vitamin E, garlic tablets, and fish oil or Omega.
The procedure is performed inside the nose and through the nostrils, so there is not a need to make any incisions on the face. You should not have any facial swelling, bruising, black eyes, or a change in the shape of your nose.
Plan on being at the office for about an hour for this. If it is done with other procedures, it may take up to 1.5 hours.
What to Expect After Septal Surgery
- You will have red colored nasal discharge after the surgery, which is entirely normal. The bloody discharge typically resolves after 24 hours. You may have some blood-tinged discharge for 10-14 days after the procedure.
- Septoplasty surgery can cause temporary swelling of nasal tissues, which can make the nose and sinuses feel congested or full.
- Do not blow your nose for 7 days after surgery to prevent bleeding. If you sneeze, do not hold back, but sneeze with your mouth open.
After most septoplasty surgery, small plastic tubes called nasal splints will be placed into each nostril. These are not visible on the outside. They are needed to maintain alignment of the nasal septum immediately after surgery and assist in healing. These are usually removed on the day following the procedure.
Once the splints are removed, we will recommend using saline nasal rinses to keep the nasal passage open, assist in healing, and decrease swelling of the nasal tissue.
What Our Patients Are Saying About Their Experience
“I had septoplasty done a while ago to correct my deviated septum. I’m very happy with the results and I can finally breathe through my nose clearly. I would definitely recommend Dr. Sikand.” – Amber