What to Expect After Septoplasty Surgery

Q: I’m undergoing septoplasty surgery next week to fix a deviated septum. I had a car accident, which broke my nose, and deviated the septum. Are there any complications or side effects I should be aware of after having septoplasty done? What can I expect post septoplasty surgery?

Answer: Well the main question is how much better will you be medically, once you get the septoplasty done. Septoplasty often results in chronic sinusitis, inflammation of the nasal cavity, dyspenia in severe cases, sleep apnea.

Some patients suffer from persistent obstruction after their primary septoplasty and may undergo a second revision septoplasty surgery to improve their nasal passageway.

You should ask these questions of your surgeon before agreeing to the procedure. The source below is the medical standard.

Septoplasty Surgery Recovery Time

1 week after surgery – within a week of post op septoplasty surgery, 70% of the swelling will have gone down. The doctor will give you antibiotics to prevent infection at the surgery site, usually lasting 1-2 weeks for a course.

2 weeks after surgery – most patients report that the swelling has stopped, and there’s minimal tenderness or discomfort after 2 weeks post surgery. The stitch site may bleed, but only minimal bleeding. You should follow your doctor’s post surgery instructions to lessen recovery time, and rinse your nose with a saline spray daily to prevent¬† infection from re-occuring.

3 weeks post surgery – patients should now have finished their course of antibiotics, and be fully recovered. However, keep the nasal splint/packing in place at 3 weeks, as the nasal cartilage has not fully hardened yet, and the septum can still re-deviate.

4 weeks following surgery – patients should return to the doctor’s office for suture removal at 4 weeks following surgery (if not using self-dissolving stitches.) The doctor will remove any nasal packing, and remove the splint holding the nostrils straight. Splint removal after septoplasty can feel uncomfortable, but the uncomfortable feel with splint removal lasts only a few seconds as the splint is removed.

5 weeks after surgery – patients should go back to the doctor for a final check-up to make sure the septum hasn’t re-deviated. Sense of smell and taste should return this week, and patients should breathe normally one week after the nasal splint was removed.

How to Heal Faster After Septoplasty

Wash your nose with a q-tip or a cotton ball Use soft soapScabs form over tissue to allow it to heal so if you are constantly peeling them off it will take much longer to heal over. They are a nuisance but are there for a reason so leave them alone until they fall off by themselves. Have your pharmacy number handy.

Congestion After Septoplasty

Some nasal congestion or swelling is common after septoplasty. To reduce swelling and congestion, use a neti pot on one nostril, letting the water flow out the other nostril. Do not use nasal decongestants after septoplasty surgery, as nasal decongestant sprays can cause long-term addiction in users.

Smoking After Septoplasty

Do not smoke after septoplasty, for up to one month after the surgery. Smoking causes slower healing times, and can irritate the surgery site, rupturing stitches. You’ll have to get used to not smoking because after the surgery you’ll have to refrain from smoking for a long time or your nose will get infected and it won’t heal.

Facial Swelling After Septoplasty

The facial nerves are extremely sensitive and can cause referred pain following surgery. After the septoplasty surgery there may be some swelling and bruising around the eyes and the face may be puffy but most of the procedure is done inside the nostrils. When everything heals the face should return to normal.

If swelling persists for more than 2 weeks, patients should return to the doctor that did the surgery. They have the x-rays from your surgery and could take another x-ray to see if there’s anything obstructing there or if it’s just more infection causing swelling.

Should I have Turbinate Surgery Along With Septoplasty?

Turbinates are structures projecting from the side of the nose, which are removed by cauterization. They function to warm and moisturize inhaled air. If they are oversized they can block the airway and contribute to excessive nasal secretions. There aren’t many nerves up through those tissues, so patients report little pain post surgery.

You should ask a nurse. If the turbinates are large and are not treated, the septoplasty may not be as effective, but by the same token there are plenty of cases in which septoplasty alone is sufficient.

Will Insurance Pay for Septoplasty?

medicare symbol

The most that the insurance might pay is what the covered procedures would have cost if you did not get any other procedures done. Also, because insurance companies are onto the scam where someone pretends to need a covered procedure so that they can couple it with cosmetic surgery and pay less, an insurance company is going to be very reluctant to pay for anything that a plastic surgeon does, even something that normally would be covered, if you couple it with any non-covered procedures. You will have to pay anything extra the hospital charges because you need to be in the surgery room longer or be in the hospital longer.

Will My Voice Change After Septoplasty?

Your voice may even improve as you should have better resonance after the surgery. The only thing that could damage your voice during such surgery would be the intubation done by the anaesthetist which fortunately is a very rare complication. Ear, Nose and Throat surgery is notorious for this. Your voice should settle back to normal with time but if you begin to experience any problems please see your GP.

Can I Blow My Nose After Septoplasty?

Septoplasty isn’t cheap, and it’s not worth it to risk the repairs by blowing your nose. You also may not have done yourself any favors either, because the increased pressure when you blow can also displace things slightly.

Sneezing After Surgery

Sneezing after septoplasty is dangerous, since it can rupture the sutures that hold the healing site together. To prevent sneezing after surgery, pinch your nostrils together when you feel a sneeze starting. Stopping your body mid-sneeze can feel uncomfortable, but it’s less uncomfortable than returning to the doctor to get your stitches re-examined.

Also, avoid common sneeze triggers after surgery, like dusty rooms, carpeting, and breathing strong chemical odors (such as perfume.)

Can I Fly After Septoplasty?

Yes, you can fly on a plane after septoplasty surgery. Flying on a plane pops your ears, not your nose, so the pressure shouldn’t re-open the bandaged wounds.

Can I Use Nasal Decongestant Sprays After Septoplasty?

Yes, you can use nasal sprays like Mucinex, Afrin, Flonase, and Nasonex post surgery in moderation. How much? Only one squirt or two, until the surgical site is fully healed. A more natural way to decongest your nose would be saline drops or using a neti pot – plus, natural cures for congestion help you heal faster than OTC medications.

Difference Between Rhinoplasty and Septoplasty

Septoplasty simply moves the septum into a normal position, while a rhinoplasty changes the shape of the nose itself. Rhinoplasty raises the tip/angle of the nose, fixes bumps,changes shape, this should be discussed with your surgeon if you want anything extra done or not. Mostly septoplasty is to fix the septum, so, your nose might be straighter. So you should not be worried about cosmetic effect, which is undoubtedly going to be better once you shall have a straightened nasal septum.

Why Undergo Septoplasty Surgery?

Patients with nasal obstruction from septal deviation commonly undergo septoplasty to improve nasal airflow.

It is recommend that in addition to septal deviation and inferior turbinate hypertrophy, nasal valve function be fully evaluated before performing septoplasty. This will help to ensure a complete understanding of a patient’s nasal airway obstruction and, consequently, appropriate and effective surgical intervention. ANY prior medical procedure should be disclosed to the dr.

A significant number of patients who undergo revision septoplasty also have nasal valve collapse.