Breathe easier, sleep better, and experience fewer sinus problems
What Is It Like To Have Septoplasty?
Your nasal septum is made up of cartilage and bone. It’s covered by a layer of tissue called mucosa. If you have a deviated septum, our Scottsdale Sinus Surgeon, Dr. Gergits, may recommend septoplasty, a procedure that will correct the dividing wall between your nostrils. This will fix airflow issues caused by this common condition and help with symptoms you may be experiencing, such as frequent nosebleeds, recurring sinus infections, and nasal airway breathing restrictions which can cause sleep disturbances. It is a very common type of surgery performed to treat nasal blockages.
This is a routine, surgical procedure usually performed on an outpatient basis. Most patients breathe easier, sleep better, and experience fewer sinus problems and nosebleeds after surgery and recovery is complete.
During the procedure, we will start with anesthesia. This could be performed in a surgery center, a hospital’s operating room, or now even in our in-office surgical suite. After you are numb and comfortable, I begin the procedure by making an incision inside your nose which will not be seen by you or others.
Next, I gently lift the delicate septal mucosa out of the way so I may reshape the cartilage and bone underneath.
In most cases, I remove sections of the cartilage or bone to make it easier to reshape the nasal anatomy. I then restore the mucosa to its proper position and usually use a dissolvable suture to close the incision. This procedure is considered “functional” and not “cosmetic” since it restores proper nasal function and is not designed or intended to change the outward appearance of the nose.
We may also use splints and/or packing inside the nose to strengthen and maintain these changes. Every nose is a little different, so whether we use these solutions will depend greatly on how deviated your septum is and what it will take to correct your nose. The whole surgical procedure usually takes 15-30 minutes.
Because you will be under a sedation type of anesthesia, we do require you to have someone drive you to and from the surgery.
Recovery: What Should I Expect After Septoplasty?
You can expect about 2-5 days of nasal pain and possibly some bleeding. Although rare, excessive bleeding can occur and is described as bleeding that drains out the front of the nose and streams, not drips. If bleeding does occur, Afrin-saturated cotton balls placed snugly inside the nose usually do the trick. Afrin (oxymetazoline) helps contract the dilated blood vessels and stops the bleeding. This is useful for any nosebleed.
After septoplasty, you may be given a prescription for pain medication to be taken after your procedure. However, most patients will commonly see adequate pain reduction by just using Tylenol and Motrin, alternating every 2 hours. Some patients also get some pain in their front teeth. This is because there is a nerve that runs from your nose to your front teeth that can get bruised during the procedure.
Tips For A Better Recovery:
Will This Procedure Change My Appearance?
The changes will all be internal. However, you may notice your nostril sizes are more equal. It is very rare that anyone would have to bruise on the nose or face after septoplasty.
What Complications Might Arise?
Complications with septoplasty are rare, though infection or a reaction to the anesthesia is possible. Some patients experience a “septal hematoma” in which blood will collect under the skin of the nose. If this occurs, the bloody drainage will need to be removed and this can be taken care of in the office. Some patients may also experience a septal perforation, which is a hole in the septum, and rarely produces any symptoms.
You will schedule a follow-up visit 7-14 days after your procedure so that we can prevent or address any complications which may arise. You will also receive Dr. Gergits’ cell phone number for more urgent issues.
Will Insurance Cover This Surgery?
Most of the time, insurance will cover this procedure since a deviated septum can cause real health problems and this is not a cosmetic procedure. Every insurance plan is different. If you have questions, it is a good idea to contact our office and we can check to see if your insurance will cover this procedure.