Septoplasty is an operation performed to correct a deformity of the nasal septum, (the partition between the two sides of the nose). Also called a “deviated septum repair, the goal is usually to improve breathing, but sometimes it is necessary to improve visualization of the interior of the nose for treatment of polyps, inflammation, tumors, or bleeding. Deformity of the septum is usually a result of trauma, but some people naturally have a twisted septum. Septoplasty is not designed to change the external appearance of the nose or to treat nasal allergies and other causes of nasal drainage.
Septoplasty is usually performed under general anesthesia, while the patient is asleep. It is usually a day surgery procedure, meaning most patients go home on the day of surgery. The entire process takes about half a day. The surgery itself takes about 60 minutes. Pain medications and possibly antibiotics may be prescribed after surgery.
Some of the risks of surgery include septal perforation (a hole connecting both sides of the nose), bleeding, infection, failure to have complete relief of nasal obstruction, and nasal crusting. An appointment should be made for postoperative care 1 week after surgery. If nasal packing or splints are in place, they may be removed at that visit. Nasal saline cleansing is often necessary after the first visit to help with healing of the
nose. A mild nosebleed and a sensation of nasal blockage/swelling are normal for 5-10 days after surgery. Also, numbness of the upper front teeth may occur, but is usually temporary.
Instructions After the Procedure
- Avoid blowing your nose forcibly for 2 weeks after surgery. Gentle sniffing is okay. Try to sneeze with your mouth open. It is better to blot the nose instead of rubbing. Peroxide can be used on Q-tips to clean crusting and blood on the nose.
- Avoid lifting > 10-20 lbs, strenuous activity, or trauma to the nose. Sports and similar activities should be restricted for 3 weeks.
- Change the nasal drip pad as often as needed. (Usually only needed for 1-2 days)
- Nausea/vomiting may occur, and usually improves by not eating/drinking for 2 hours. Resume diet with a clear liquid diet, which can be gradually advanced to solid foods. Notify the physician if nausea persists.
- Cosmetics, sunglasses, and contact lenses may be used as usual.
- Notify the office for fever >102 F despite the use of Tylenol (which is already in most of the prescribed pain meds), increasing tenderness/redness of the nose, severe headache, or persistent bright red bleeding.
- If continuous bright red bleeding occurs, squirt 2 puffs of Afrin (over the counter nose spray) into each nostril. Try to relax and if you are in pain, take your pain medicine as prescribed (if you have not done so in the last 4 hours).
- If a history of high blood pressure exists, medications should be used as regularly prescribed. Failure to do so may lead to severe bleeding.
- Please do not use any other nose sprays until at least the first visit after surgery. The physician will let you know if they can be resumed.
- After the first postoperative visit, cleanse the nose at least twice a day with nasal saline, which can be purchased over the counter.
Following these guidelines will optimize your outcome after surgery. Please call our office at (972) 402-8404 if you have any questions or concerns.