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A septoplasty is a surgical ENT procedure to straighten your septum; the wall (cartilage at the front, and bone further back) which divides your nose into left and right sides.
It can be carried out in combination with rhinoplasty (nose reshaping surgery) if this is required to optimise the nasal passage and improve breathing (septorhinoplasty) but it's usually performed alone.
Septoplasty nose surgery is carried out to straighten a deviated septum, or if one of your nasal passages is smaller than the other.
A deviated septum can be inherited, become misaligned as you grow or can be caused by an injury, such as a broken nose or a haematoma.
A septoplasty is usually recommended if you have breathing difficulties, chronic sinus infections, stagnating mucus or inflammation or irritation in your nasal passages.
The exact type of operation you’ll have will depend on your condition. Your Consultant will discuss this with you in detail before the surgery.
The septoplasty will be carried out under general anaesthetic, which means you’ll be asleep. Your Consultant will be able to reposition your septum by operating only on the inside of your nose. This means they won’t need to make cuts on the outside, so any scars won’t be visible.
The operation should last around an hour, depending on how complicated the procedure is. Because you'll need to have a general anaesthetic, your Consultant will tell you how long you should avoid eating and drinking beforehand. You should also arrange for someone to drive you home from the hospital.
You may be able to go home on the same day as your operation. We’ll arrange any follow-up appointments with you before you leave hospital.
Your nose will feel blocked for a few weeks and to prevent any bleeding you shouldn’t take part in any strenuous activity and avoid blowing your nose for the first two weeks. Most people recover very well after a septoplasty, but it may take up to three months for the full benefits to be felt.