Septoplasty is a corrective surgical procedure done to straighten the nasal septum i.e. the partition between the two nasal cavities. Ideally, the septum should run down the center of the nose. When it deviates into one of the cavities, it narrows that cavity and impedes airflow. If the wall that functions as a separator of both sides of the nose is tilted towards one side at a degree greater than 50%, it might cause difficulty in breathing. Often the inferior turbinate on the opposite side enlarges, which is termed as compensatory hyper troy. Deviations of the septum can lead to nasal obstruction. Most surgeries are completed in 60 minutes or less, while the recovery time could be up to several weeks.
Septoplasty surgery is an operation that repairs the septum, or wall inside your nose, so that you can breathe more easily. It is a simple operation that can be done in under an hour but it takes you up to eight weeks to completely recover.
Septoplasty surgery can be done as an outpatient and no hospital stay is required. You will be sent home to recover as soon as the anesthetic has worn off. Packing of the nose is usually not necessary, but it might be required. If it is, the packing will be removed in two to three days.
Septoplasty is sometimes done as well to cure recurrent nosebleed due to septal spur.
Your nose may be stopped up after septoplasty surgery or you may be able to breathe through your nose the first day. You should expect to experience blocking off and on much like when you have a cold. Septoplasty may take a full eight weeks, or longer, until your nose remains open and clear.
To keep your nose clear of drainage, you should sniff rather than blow. In fact, you should not blow your nose until your doctor tells you it is okay. This will depend upon your rate of healing and may take three weeks. If you have to sneeze, do not try to stifle it, but be sure to sneeze with your mouth open.
Your doctor will probably advise you to use nasal spray during your recovery as this keeps your nostrils moist, decreases drainage, opens your nose, and decreases bleeding. Sprays like Afrin 12 hour spray can be used two to three times a day and saline spray should be used at least five times a day or more often. On your fourth day of recovery, you can stop using the Afrin spray except for when you notice your nose bleeding. You should continue to use the saline spray for three weeks.
Septoplasty should also be avoided if the person has untreated diabetes, severe hypertension or bleeding diathesis.
While you are healing from septoplasty surgery, you must limit your physical activity to avoid putting strain on your incision. Do not lift over five pounds for the first five days. Limit bending and climbing stairs for two days. Avoid strenuous activity or exercise for two weeks. Slowly resume your normal daily functions over a period of six to eight weeks.
Your doctor will probably send you home with medications like antibiotics and pain relievers. The pain relievers will make you feel drowsy so do not drive or drink alcohol when you take them. You may also be allowed to take Tylenol but avoid aspirin or ibuprofen as these can thin your blood and increase bleeding.
Be sure to keep your follow-up visits with your doctor so that he can track your healing and let you know when you are ready to resume heavy lifting and strenuous exercise.
Keep an eye out for complications during your recovery such as frequent or excessive bleeding and infection. Some blood loss is normal, will occur during the first few days after surgery, and may happen intermittently for a few weeks after your septoplasty surgery. However, you should notify your doctor if bleeding continues. You should also notify your doctor when you show signs of infection like running a fever, or when your incision appears red or swollen.
Septoplasty surgery will help you to breathe much easier once you have recovered although it may take a few months to achieve the full benefit. However, the pain and discomfort should quickly subside so that you can return to your usual routine in a couple of weeks after the procedure.
Time taken by septoplasty is 30 to 90 minutes. You'll be under either local or general anesthesia, depending on what you and your doctor decide is best for you.
During hard procedure, the surgeon derives an incision on one side of your nose to provide the septum. They next lift up the mucous membrane, which is the protective covering of the septum. Then the deviated septum is moved into the right position. The last step is the repositioning of the mucous membrane.
You may need stitches to hold the septum and membrane in place. However, packing the nose with cotton is sometimes enough to keep them in position.
Potential risks of a septoplasty
Most of the people go for second surgery if their satisfaction is zero. Other risks associated with a septoplasty are rare, but they can include:
- perforation of your septum, which happens when a hole forms in your septum
- an altered nose shape
- a discoloration of your nose
- a decreased sense of smell
Excessive bleeding and infection are possible risks of any surgery.
Recovering from a septoplasty
Septoplasty is usually performed as an outpatient procedure unless major complications arise. This means that you'll be able to go home on the same day as the procedure, once the anesthesia has worn off. Your nose will be swollen, painful, and packed with cotton to control bleeding. The packing can be removed a day or two after surgery. Your doctor will also prescribe pain medication as needed.
Your doctor will likely ask you to avoid aspirin, ibuprofen, and other drugs that thin the blood. It happens to reduce the risk of bleeding..
You should also limit your physical activity for several weeks after surgery to minimize swelling and promote healing. This includes most forms of intense exercise, such as running, lifting weights, and playing contact sports. These activities can increase your blood pressure and lead to heavy bleeding.
Tips for a quicker recovery of septoplasty include:
- elevating your head at night to keep the swelling down
- not blowing your nose for at least three days after surgery
- wearing shirts that button up in the front so you won't have to pull clothing over your head
Septoplasty will cost minimum Rs.86,000 to maximum Rs.1,72,000.