A deviated septum is one of the most common reasons to have non-cosmetic nasal surgery. Your septum can be crooked and may result in a smaller nasal passage on one side or the other, or even both. In a normal nose, the mucosal lining swells and retract many times a day. With a deviated septum, one may have difficulty breathing from either side of the nose. It is usually from the already small passageway being blocked further from the swollen mucosal lining. Sometimes, blockage can occur when there is additional cartilage, bone or mucosal tissue.
This difficulty in breathing through the nose could be corrected through a Septoplasty. Many people breathe loudly and others think their noses are stuffed, but in fact they suffer from a deviated septum and when their tissues naturally swell, the side with the deviation is even more restricted.
A Septoplasty is the surgical procedure to straighten a deviated or crooked septum to improve breathing, function, and minimize possible sinus infections, creating greater comfort for the patient. A septoplasty is almost always performed with no visible incision and normally takes about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. If the Septoplasty is being performed in conjunction with a Rhinoplasty, there may be additional, visible incisions and may take about an additional hour or more for difficult cases.
If you have concerns regarding nasal breathing or repetitive sinus infections, please contact us.
Please read and familiarize yourself with these instructions both BEFORE and AFTER surgery. By following them carefully, you will assist in obtaining the best possible result from your surgery. If questions do arise, please contact our physicians or nurses.
- If you experience signs or symptoms of an upper respiratory infection or other illness within five days prior to surgery, please call our Surgical Coordinator at (610) 879-0068.
- Do not take any aspirin or aspirin-containing, ibuprofen or ibuprofen-containing drugs for one week prior to surgery. Examples of these include Aspergum, Darvon, Fiorinal, Norgesic, Advil, Motrin and many over-the-counter cough and cold preparations. Additionally, you should not take any nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Naprosyn which have a similar effect. If you are on this type of medication, please discuss this matter directly with us before stopping it.
- Take only medications prescribed by your doctor(s). Use AFRIN NASAL SPRAY (over-the-counter) pre-operatively. Use two sprays in each nostril before leaving home on the morning of surgery. Bring the Afrin with you to the hospital. Just before going to the operating room, use two sprays of Afrin in each nostril.
- Do not eat or drink anything, including water, after midnight the evening before surgery.
- The physician will provide you with prescriptions for medications to take at home following surgery. Please be prepared by filling your prescriptions prior to your surgery. Take only the medications prescribed by your physician(s).
- Any pain medications prescribed by our physicians are safe to use in the post-operative period. For children, liquid acetaminophen (brand names Tempra and Tylenol) may be used with a dosage determined by the age of the child. Adults may use tablets or capsules of acetaminophen with the same brand names.
- Do not disturb the intranasal splint.
- You may use a nasal saline spray, two sprays in each nostril, every two or three hours as needed to keep the nose moist and the splint clear. These are over-the-counter preparations and go by names such as Ayr, and Ocean.
- Change the dressing under the nose (if present) as needed. Use gauze 2x2s and inch non-allergic tape. You may discontinue this dressing after one or two days.
- Avoid nose blowing. If your doctor allows, you may blow your nose gently and wipe or dab the nose with tissue as needed.
- Sleep with your head elevated on two or three pillows. Avoid sleeping on or rolling over on your face or nose.
- In the immediate post-operative period (7-10 days), supplemental humidity as supplied by a COLD water humidifier will help in your comfort. This is especially important during cold weather months.
- Avoid foods that require prolonged or excessive chewing for several days.
- Avoid all caffeinated products.
- Avoid extreme and strenuous activity. Obtain more rest than normal. Most patients stay out of work or school for three to five days, possibly a week. Circumstances surrounding your employment might allow you to return sooner or require that you stay out longer.
- Brush your teeth gently with a soft toothbrush. Avoid manipulation of the upper lip during application. Men may shave as usual but should not pull down on the upper lip.
- Extremes of hot and cold may be irritating to the nose and may cause discomfort, dryness and crusting.
- Do not swim for three weeks after surgery.
- Contact lenses may be worn within two to three days after surgery.
- For patients not staying in the hospital overnight: apply ice to mid-face for 24 to 48 hours after surgery. (Put crushed ice in zip lock bag, wrap in washcloth, and apply)
If you have any questions concerning your comfort or care, please contact our office at (610) 879-0068.