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Septoplasty

Septoplasty is a reconstructive plastic surgery performed to correct an improperly formed nasal septum. The procedure is performed entirely through the nostrils.

Hospital Stay: Hospital Stay: 2 days
Duration: Duration: 30-90 mins
Cost Estimate: Cost Estimate: 1125 USD - 1926 USD These are indicative prices in Indian Hospitals

People benefit from a septoplasty when they have:

  • A significant nasal septal abnormality and blocked nasal breathing.
  • Not had adequate symptom relief with medications

Goals of surgery:

The primary goal of septoplasty surgery is to improve breathing through the nose. Secondarily, some patients may experience improvement in the areas of:

  • Nasal discharge
  • Post-nasal drip

Before surgery:

Before septoplasty, you may also need to:

  • Avoid certain medications. Avoid medications containing aspirin or ibuprofen for two weeks before surgery and two weeks after surgery. These medications may increase bleeding. Take only those medications approved or prescribed by your surgeon.
  • If you smoke, stop smoking. Smoking slows the healing process after surgery.
  • Make arrangements for the day of the surgery. For the first 24 hours after sedation, you may have lapses of memory, slowed reaction time and impaired judgment. Therefore, arrange for someone to drive you home if you’re having an outpatient procedure.

Surgical Treatment/procedure:

  • Septoplasty surgery is performed under general anaesthesia.
  • Through an incision made inside the nostril, the tissue (mucosa) covering the septum is lifted up to allow the surgeon to see the bone and cartilage directly. The deviated portions of the bone and cartilage are then either removed or reshaped, leaving behind enough non-deviated bone and cartilage to maintain the shape of the nose. The incision is then stitched closed.
  • Surgeon may place soft plastic sheets or splints inside the nose to help the septum heal straight and reduce the chance of scar tissue formation. Packing is rarely used in the nose to help prevent bleeding.
  • Your surgeon will tell you when the packing and/or splints are to be removed. The surgery will probably last from one to three hours. Once the effects of the anaesthesia have worn off, patients are discharged home later the same day.
  • For some patients, turbinate reduction may be done during the same surgery. Your doctor will discuss this option with you.
  • Septoplasty does not involve cutting through the skin, as it is performed entirely through the nostrils. So, most people can go home the same day.

In addition to correcting a deviated nasal septum, septoplasty may also be performed to correct other problems, such as cleft defects, that affect the nose and nasal cavity, and a fistula in the maxillary sinuses.

Complications/Risks:

Individuals vary greatly in their anatomy and healing ability, and the outcome is never completely predictable. Complications may occur, including:

  • Infection
  • Nosebleed
  • Reaction to the anesthesia

Septoplasty may be performed with the traditional open surgical technique from inside the nose. When open surgery is performed, small scars will be located on the base of the nose, but they usually are not noticeable. Scarring is not visible when internal surgery is performed.

The surgeon will provide guidelines for resuming normal activities. Many patients are up and around within a few days and able to return to school or sedentary work in a week or so.

Short-term side effects of surgery:

  • Splint applied to nose to help maintain new shape
  • Nasal packs or soft plastic splints may be placed in nostrils to stabilize septum
  • Face will feel puffy
  • Nose may ache
  • Dull headache
  • Swelling around the eyes
  • Bruising around the eyes
  • Small amount of bleeding in first few days
  • Small burst blood vessels may appear as tiny red spots on the skin’s surface

Post-operative care:

You can expect to have pain, fatigue, nasal stuffiness, and mild nasal drainage after your surgery. Pain is generally mild with this type of surgery and is typically well controlled with oral pain medications. The stuffiness typically results from swelling after the procedure, and typically generally starts to improve after the first week. You may have drainage of some mucus and blood from your nose after surgery. This is a normal part of the healing process.

You may be asked to use saline sprays or irrigations after your surgery. Please check with your surgeon about any post-operative care you will need to perform to allow your nose to heal properly.

Healing is a slow and gradual process. Some swelling may be present for months, especially in the tip of the nose. Final results of nasal surgery may not be apparent for a year or more.

A deviated nasal septum and large turbinates are two of the most common causes of nasal obstruction. However, there are other problems that can cause these same symptoms of stuffiness and difficulty breathing through the nose. For example, problems like polyps can cause nasal blockage. The best way to diagnose the problems that are contributing to your nasal obstruction is to undergo a nasal endoscopy. This is a painless procedure that is performed in our office. A small fiberoptic endoscope is used to visualize the inside of the nasal passages, and this allows us to determine why airflow may be reduced or completely blocked.

The treatment depends on the cause of the obstruction. For patients who have swollen turbinates, prescription medications like steroid nasal sprays can help to decrease the swelling and improve airflow. Over-the-counter decongestant pills can also help, but using these types of medications over the long term is generally not recommended because the medications can raise your blood pressure. For other patients, things like nasal strips can provide temporary relief of nasal obstruction. Some patients may continue to have blockage despite the use of medications and other measures, and these patients may benefit from surgery to correct the problems that are causing the nasal obstruction.

When patients undergo septal and turbinate procedures, the surgery is performed on the inside of the nose. Unless you are having a rhinoplasty procedure at the same time, the surgery will not involve the external parts of the nose. So, your nose will not be broken, and there will not be any external bruising is very unlikely.

Complications may occur, including:

  • Infection
  • Nosebleed
  • Reaction to the anesthesia

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