Septoplasty: Procedure And Recovery

Septoplasty: Procedure And Recovery

by Olivia Pryor (SU)

Most of us have experienced the discomfort of having a clogged nose at least a few times. In some cases, however, the shape and structures of the nose can make it chronically difficult to breathe.

One of the causes is a crooked septum, which is the cartilage between the nose separating the nostrils. For people with this issue, normal breathing is rarely achieved, and they have a lot of difficulty getting restful sleep. To address this issue, doctors can perform a procedure known as a septoplasty.

Septoplasty Procedure

A septoplasty is an operation performed to correct a deviated septum. Here’s a closer look at what this procedure entails:

What Is a Septoplasty?

The septum is mostly made of cartilage, with some thin bone in the back. The cartilage divides the nose into two nostrils. It can easily become bent due to injury, although some people have a naturally crooked septum. A deviated septum not only makes it difficult to breathe through the nose but also increases the risk of sinus infections. A septoplasty is the best way to correct an abnormal septum, improve airflow, and enhance breathing.

Your doctor will discuss the risks, benefits, and expected results of a septoplasty with you before the procedure. Your doctor will also review your medical history and perform a physical exam. Make sure to disclose all of the medications and supplements you’re currently taking. All of this information will help your doctor assess if you are a good candidate for the procedure.

What Happens During a Septoplasty?

The procedure can be performed under sedation or general anesthesia. Once you’re asleep, your doctor will make a small incision on one side of the nose to lift the mucosa. The mucosa is a thin membrane covering the septum.

Your doctor will reshape and reposition the septum bone and cartilage as needed. Then, the mucosa will be carefully placed over the septum again. Nasal splits or packing are rarely necessary.  The procedure takes 20-30 minutes to complete.

Recovery After a Septoplasty

A septoplasty is an outpatient procedure, so you can expect to go home safely on the same day. Once the anesthesia wears off, you can be discharged.

What Happens After A Septoplasty?

You may experience mild nasal pain or tenderness after surgery. You might also experience stuffiness because of swelling and nasal drainage. The swelling should last for up to three days, but the drainage may continue for up to five days. Make sure your head stays elevated while you sleep.

Your doctor will prescribe over-the-counter pain medications and a saline spray. If your doctor inserted soft packing, you will have to breathe through the mouth until the material can be removed 24-36 hours later.

At-Home Care Instructions

It should be safe to go back to work or school after a few days but remember to take it easy. By the third week, you should be able to detect noticeable improvements in breathing and sleeping. Three months after your septoplasty, your nasal tissues should have stabilized.

Activities to Avoid

Make sure to take a few days off and rest after your septoplasty. Refrain from blowing your nose for one week after the surgery to avoid a nosebleed. Do not take a shower for the first 24 hours. Choose clothes that are fastened at the front and do not need to be pulled over the head.

In terms of movement restrictions, avoid strenuous activities like lifting heavy items and sports for about a week or two. If you push your body too far, you can impede the healing process. Stay away from dusty or smoky places to prevent any triggers that can cause sneezing. 

What To Do In Case of An Accident

If your nose bleeds, don’t panic. Sit down and bring your head slightly forward. Use a basin or a cloth to catch the blood. Pinch the soft part of your nose gently for at least ten minutes. This should stop the bleeding. If it does not abate after applying pressure, call your doctor.

Also call your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms:

●      Difficulty breathing

●      Uncontrollable nosebleed

●      Fever and chills

●      Headaches

●      Nausea

●      Neck pain and stiffness

Septoplasty In Austin, TX

Most patients report a significant improvement in symptoms after a septoplasty. With a corrected septum, it’s far easier to breathe, conquer the day’s activities, and enjoy a good night’s sleep.

If you would like to check whether you’re a good candidate for a septoplasty, visit the experts at Snoring Austin. Our ENT doctors can evaluate your condition and perform a septoplasty with ease.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation, call our Austin office at (512) 270-3602 or our Lakeway office at (512) 961-6311. You can also fill out our online appointment request form. We look forward to serving you.