Septoplasty surgery is carried out to straighten a deviated septum where it is damaged or if one side of your nasal passage is smaller than the other. A deviated septum can cause a blockage in the nose leading to breathing difficulties, chronic sinus infections, stagnating mucus, inflammation and irritation.
The exact type of procedure you have will depend on your specific condition; your surgeon will discuss this with you in detail before the operation.
The septoplasty will be carried out under general anaesthetic so you’ll be asleep during the operation. Your surgeon should not need to make cuts on the outside of the nose, but will be able to reposition the septum into the correct midline position by operating only on the inside of the nose.
The operation should last around an hour depending on how complicated the procedure is. Immediately after the operation your nose will be packed with a dressing to control bleeding.
Once you’ve recovered from the anaesthetic we’ll help manage any discomfort with painkillers. Some patients will be able to go home on the same day as the operation. We’ll remove the packing from your nose and arrange any follow-up appointments with you before you leave hospital.
Your nose will feel blocked for a few days and to prevent the risk of bleeding you should avoid strenuous activity and avoid blowing your nose for a few weeks. Most people recover very well after a septoplasty but it may take up to 12 months for the full benefits to be felt.
As with any surgical procedure there can be some risks including:
Specific risks associated with septoplasty include:
- a change in the shape of your nose
- an opening in the septum (septal perforation)
- a decline in the sense of smell
In some cases of a deviated septum the symptoms, such as mucus blockage, may be relieved with nasal sprays or decongestants, but this will not address the underlying cause of the problem.