Septoplasty is a surgical procedure that is done to fix a deviated septum. A deviated nasal septum occurs when the cartilage that separates both of your nostrils is off position. This can lead to nosebleeds, breathing problems, and pain. The main goal of the surgery is to correct the septum’s alignment so as to improve the airflow through the nose. It is generally performed on an outpatient basis under general or local anesthesia.
What Is the Septum?
The septum is the wall made of cartilage and bone that divides the nose into separate nostrils. A deviated septum is the result of the septum moving to one side of the nose. In some cases, it is congenital, but it can also be the result of an injury to the nose. Most people who have a deviated septum have asymmetrical nasal passages. This can cause difficulty breathing, and surgery is the only way to fix it.
Preparing for the Procedure
You might be asked to stop taking certain medications before the surgery. These include ibuprofen, warfarin, aspirin, and other blood thinners. This is done to make sure that there is no excessive bleeding during the surgery. Make sure you let your surgeon know if you are allergic to certain medications or if you have a bleeding disorder. Your surgeon might take pictures of the nose before the procedure.
In some cases, the procedure is performed under local anesthesia, which numbs the area to prevent any pain. However, most septoplasties are performed under general anesthesia. Don’t drink or eat anything after dinner the night before the procedure if you are going to be under a general anesthetic. This will prevent you from choking and throwing up if you get nauseated.
What Does the Procedure Entail?
The procedure takes anywhere from 20 to 100 minutes to complete, depending on how complicated the condition is. Typically, the surgery involves making an incision on one side of the nose to gain access to the septum. The surgeon will lift the mucous membrane, which is the septum’s protective covering. He will then shift the deviated septum to the right position. Any barriers, like extra cartilage or bone, will be removed. Finally, the mucous membrane will be repositioned. Stitches may be used to hold the nasal membrane and septum in place. However, in most of the cases, packing cotton in the nose is enough to keep the septum in place.
What Is the Recovery Like?
Since the surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, you can go home the same day. Once the anesthesia wears off, you might experience a little pain, which will subside in a few hours. Your nose will be red and swollen, and the surgeon may pack it with cotton to control the bleeding. You can remove it a day or two after the surgery. Your surgeon will prescribe painkillers as needed. Keep your head in an elevated position when you go to sleep at night to keep the swelling down. Don’t blow your nose for at least two days after the surgery.
Set Up a Septoplasty Consultation
Visit with Dr. Paul Nassif, a skilled surgeon and rhinoplasty specialist, to find out more about septoplasty surgery and whether or not it is right for you. To schedule your appointment, contact our office today.