Guide to Septoplasty Recovery

The Reason for the Surgery

Septoplasty is often equated with rhinoplasty, which is cosmetic surgery. However, the surgical procedure is different as the emphasis is not on cosmetics but on helping the patient breathe easier or eliminate a problem with snoring.  Therefore, septal surgery is often recommended to correct a deviated septum, a part of the nose that, when not straight, can cause breathing difficulties or, as mentioned, cause a snoring problem. In some instances, the surgery is performed to prevent recurrent nosebleeds. The surgery can also provide relief for people who suffer from sleep apnea or sinusitis.

To understand the reason for the surgery, you have to also understand the anatomical position of the septum in the nose. Definitively, the septum is classified as the wall that sits between the nose’s nostrils, thereby dividing the left and right nasal passage. Acting as a support for the nose then, the septum sometimes is situated so the air coming into the nose can be obstructed if the septum is not in alignment. That’s why a septum that is not straight, or one that is deviated, can cause breathing difficulties or result in health problems.

Septoplasty is Another Name for Septal Reconstruction

While few people have a septum that is in perfect alignment, a septum that is deviated because of, say, an injury, such as a broken nose, can cause discomfort in the form of nasal congestion and, again, breathing difficulties. Therefore, it is often recommended, in order to correct the positioning of the septum, that surgery be undertaken. Septoplasty, also referred to as septal reconstruction, is often suggested to correct such health conditions, as previously noted, as sinus inflammation and sleep apnea as well. Sleep apnea is a disorder where breathing stops from several seconds to a few minutes during the night, and is frequently the reason for sleepiness during the day. If the problem isn’t treated, then health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart attack, or stroke can result.

An Outpatient Surgery

Septoplasty is performed on an outpatient basis and does not require a hospital stay. The procedure is done regularly, so you shouldn’t experience any kind of complications if you go ahead with the procedure. In very few instances, the anesthesia used for the surgery can cause an adverse reaction that can result in respiratory distress.


The Operation Lasts about an Hour and a Half

Before you undergo a septoplasty operation, the doctor will usually examine the nasal passages and septum with an endoscope, which is an illuminated device routinely used before or even during the septoplasty surgery. A local anesthesia is administered for the operation, with the procedure lasting about an hour and a half.

After the Procedure – Septoplasty Recovery

When a septoplasty is performed, the doctor will make a small incision in one of either of the two sides of the nose, correcting the septum so it is no longer crooked. Once the surgery is completed, nasal packs will be put into the nose to stymie any excess blood flow. In turn then, you may have to breathe through your mouth for a small length of time, or for about a day and a half after the surgery is completed.  In addition, during the septoplasty recovery period, you will have to wear a gauze bandage over the bridge of your nose.  There is only a slight chance of infection.

Blowing your nose is permitted after a couple days, although, if you do so, you must use extreme care. You will experience nose swelling and possibly some headache pain after the procedure as well. However, the swelling should go down after about a week. Therefore, you should be able to resume normal activities after about seven days – the average time indicated for septoplasty recovery. However, some people are slower to heal and require a couple more weeks. Therefore, if you want to heal more quickly from your surgery, saline irrigations are recommended.

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