Septoplasty

What is it?

It is an operation done under general anaesthetic (usually) for correction of a deviated (bent) cartilage that divides the nose into two nostrils. The aim is to remove the bent cartilage and put / stitch (suture) everything in the mid-line, so that the airway improves (opens). There is no need, routinely, to pack the nose afterwards. However, if there is excess bleeding, the nose will be packed with soft sponges at the end of the operation to stop the bleeding.

How is it done?

Septoplasty is done with a cut (incision) in the inside of the nose. There are no cuts on the outside of the nose and the nose-shape will not change.

Endo Septoplasty / SMR

The sponges come out the same day or the next day (you will experience some minor bleeding). Your nose will be blocked for a few days after the operation because of the blood clots and mucus within the nose. The sutures in the nose dissolve (this can take up to 45 days) and need not to be removed.

Is it painful?

Not during the operation and not seriously afterwards.

You will be given pain-killers and nasal decongestants.

You might feel numb over the upper lip and/or upper front teeth (only if bone has been removed; that numbness might last for a few weeks).

What do I do afterwards?

You can have your operation as a day procedure (home the same day) or stay overnight.

You will be provided with antibiotics and analgesia (pain-killers) for one week and you will need to wash your nose (nasal douching) for at least 2-3 weeks after the operation.

You need to refrain from work for two weeks or avoid physical exercise for one week and return to office work on the second week.

If you are a smoker, avoid smoking for 10 days after the operation, to avoid infection.

Avoid hot baths and do not blow your nose – this might cause bleeding.

Try to clean the nose with water that has been boiled and cooled, then put the nose-drops in.

Stay at home (off work) for one week.

What are the potential complications?

The commonest are:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Septal perforation and
  • Adhesions (webs from one side of the nostril to
    the other side)

The adhesions can be prevented by suturing of a silastic film on the septal cartilage lining at the end of the procedure. This will stop the webs from forming and is usually removed one week after surgery.