Aftercare Instructions for Septoplasty

by Olivia Pryor (SU)

Septoplasty is a procedure that corrects problems with the septum of the nose. The nasal septum is a wall that separates the nostrils within the nose.

After surgery, it should be safe to go back to work or school after a few days but remember to take it easy. We will give you some aftercare instructions. Please follow them precisely, because those who do so have the most pleasant post-operative experience.


After the surgery, rest completely for the rest of the day. Do not touch or rub your nose. Avoid blowing your nose (it is normal to feel stuffed up for several weeks).

Control Swelling

Every operation, no matter how minor, is accompanied by swelling of the surrounding tissues. The amount of swelling varies from person to person, but it appears to be more prominent in the face due to the looseness of the tissues distorting the features. When both the inside (septum) and outside of the nose have been operated on, the risk is usually higher than when only the inside (septum) has been operated on.

You can help the swelling subside in several ways:

·       For one week, avoid bending over or lifting heavy objects. This may increase blood pressure and cause bleeding, in addition to aggravating swelling.

·       For at least one week after surgery, avoid hitting or bumping your nose.

·       Sleep with the head of the bed elevated until all the dressings have been removed from the nose. To accomplish this, place 2 or 3 pillows under the head of the mattress and 1 or 2 pillows on top of it.

·       We recommend you use ice compresses consisting of moistened cold wash cloths (not an ice bag) applied in an inverted “v” across the top of the nose and covering each eye as much as possible during the first 3 days following surgery.


Keep a current list of your medications handy. Include the dosage, and when, how, and why you take each. Take the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists. Use vitamins, herbs, or food supplements only as directed.

Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not working as expected. Tell them about any medicine allergies, and if you want to quit taking or change your medicine.

Learn how to take your medicine. Be sure you know how, when, and how often to take it. Do not wait until pain is severe before you take pain relieving medicine. Tell caregivers if your pain does not decrease. 

Cleaning Your Nose

Don’t blow your nose at all for 3 days; after that, blow through both sides at once – do not compress one side. You may clean the outside of the nose and the upper lip with cotton-tipped applicators (Q-tips) moistened with hydrogen peroxide as soon as you return home, but don’t rub too vigorously.

Dried blood in the nostrils may be gently cleaned and removed with a Q-tip. Vaseline or an antibiotic ointment may be applied to the inside of the nostrils and the outside incision if your physician allows it. Vaseline helps soften crusts and usually makes the inside of the nose feel better. This may be used for several weeks.

Activity Resumption

Avoid activities that may injure your nose. Right after surgery, your nose is just starting to heal and can be damaged in many ways. Doing the following will help prevent your nose from getting injured:

·       Do not allow anyone to accidentally bump your nose. This includes children, pets, and your bed partner.

·       Do not blow your nose until you are told that it is safe to do so.

·       Do not do any strenuous activities. Do not go swimming for one month after your surgery.

·       Do not wear clothing that you have to pull on over your head that could roughly touch your nose.

What to Do In Case of Emergency

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.

When to Call the Doctor

Call your provider if you have:

·       A heavy nosebleed, and you cannot stop it

·       Pain that is getting worse, or pain that your pain medicines are not helping alleviate

·       High fever and chills

·       Headaches

·       Disorientation

·       Neck stiffness

Septoplasty in Austin and Lakeway, Texas 

The highly-skilled ENT doctors at Snoring Austin regularly perform septoplasties with great success. We can correct your deviated septum during a simple 20-minute procedure, so there is no reason to delay treatment!