What is a Septoplasty?
The nasal septum is the partition dividing it into the right and left sides on the inside of the nose. It is made up of hard bone at the back, and flexible cartilage at the front towards the tip.
Twists and bends of this partition may cause your nose to feel blocked on one or both sides, and a Septoplasty is an operation on the inside of the nose to straighten the septum, which will improve the breathing through your nose.
What is the aim of Septoplasty?
To improve the breathing through the nose by straightening the nasal septum, without changing the appearance of the nose on the outside. By unblocking the nose, Septoplasty may improve snoring. Septoplasty may also be used to improve the access to the sinuses on the inside of the nose if an operation on the sinuses is needed.
If the nose is twisted on the outside as well as the bend in the nasal septum on the inside of your nose, the nasal bones may need to be reset as well as the septum via a Septorhinoplasty to achieve optimal results.
You may have small dressings (called packs) in the nose for a few hours following surgery, to prevent bleeding. Small sheets of plastic may be placed inside the nose at the end of the operation to prevent scar tissue forming as the nose heals. These are usually removed in the outpatient department one week following surgery. It may be possible to go home on the same day as surgery or the following day.
Your nose will feel stuffy for 2 weeks following your operation, and it may take 6 weeks for your breathing to become clear. As your nose will feel blocked and you will be breathing through your mouth, you may have a dry throat. Drink plenty of clear fluids if this is the case.
If you have to sneeze, do so freely through your mouth without ‘bottling it up’ in your nose. You should avoid smoky or dusty surroundings. A small amount of blood-stained mucus from the nose is quite normal during the first week or two, and you may be given some nasal drops or sniffs to help this. It is important not to blow the nose or to cough and strain during the first week to prevent bleeding.
You should avoid strenuous activity, sports or exercise for about 2-3 weeks as this may cause discomfort and bleeding. You will need to be off work for 2 weeks following your operation, but possibly longer if your work is strenuous or involves a lot of lifting.