Deviated Septum Surgery
A deviated septum is a displacement of the bone and cartilage that separates your two nostrils. While some deviation of the septum is fairly common, a severe deviation can block one side of your nose, reducing airflow and making it difficult to breathe through one or both sides of your nose.
A deviated septum can be corrected with a surgical procedure called septoplasty. This procedure straightens and repositions your nasal septum in the middle of your nose. It may involve cutting and removing parts of your nasal septum, then reinserting them in the right position.
Before undergoing septoplasty, your ENT doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of the procedure, your medical history, and your expectations following the surgery. You’ll also undergo a physical examination.
Prior to surgery, you’ll have to take certain precautions, such as avoiding medications that contain aspirin or ibuprofen for two weeks before and after the procedure, as these might increase bleeding. Also, if you’re a smoker, you’ll need to stop since this disrupts the healing process.
Depending on the complexity of your septoplasty surgery, you’ll receive local or general anesthesia. During the procedure, the incision will be closed with absorbable sutures, and silicone splints may be inserted in each nostril to help support the septum. Gauze-like material also may be inserted to prevent postoperative bleeding.
Following the surgery, you’ll be monitored in a recovery room for any complications. However, septoplasty is usually performed on an outpatient basis, so you’ll probably be discharged the same day.
For the next several weeks following surgery, you’ll need to take precautions to reduce the risk of bleeding and swelling, such as avoiding strenuous activities and exercise, refraining from blowing your nose, elevating your head while sleeping, and wearing clothes that fasten in the front, rather than pulled over your head.
The level of improvement following septoplasty may vary from patient to patient, but most people experience better airflow through the nasal passages. After 3 to 6 months, the nasal tissues are reasonably stable, although some changes in cartilage and tissue may occur for up to a year or more after surgery.
If you’re having trouble breathing through your nose, request an appointment with one of our ENT specialists at Austin ENT Clinic to discuss your surgical options, or call us at 1-800-876-EARS (3277) to arrange a consultation.