Septoplasty is a surgical procedure to correct a deviated nasal septum - ie. to straighten the cartilage between the nostrils. Normally the septum is straight, running down the middle of the nose. If the septum is crooked, your nose can be stuffy and feel like it is difficult to breathe through. A septoplasty can help you to breathe and sleep better. Septal deviation can also make the nose look crooked.
In this article we look at symptoms of a deviated septum and the benefits that septoplasty surgery can have on your wellbeing.
If you have had previous septoplasty surgery and you would like a second opinion see the Cosmetic Surgery Expert Second Opinion service.
The most common symptoms of a deviated septum are chronic congestion, headaches and discomfort, loud snoring, sleep apnea and difficulty when breathing normally.
These symptoms can be a drain on your wellbeing, for example, lack of restful sleep, continuous antibiotics, pain and limitations to the level of your exercise or activity.
In septoplasty surgery, the surgeon makes a small cut on either side of the septum to separate the mucosal tissue covering the septum away from the cartilage. The crooked section of cartilage is removed and either flattened out and replaced, or left out completely. Thin plastic splints, sometimes with soft sponge padding, are placed against the septum on both sides to keep the mucosal tissue and the cartilage together to improve healing.
The benefits include improved breathing which will allow you to sleep better, better sleep has a knock-on effect of having more energy and feeling refreshed each morning. Following your recovery, any pain you experienced should diminish and you should be able to go back to all of the activities you love or have wanted to do but haven't been able to.
How much time you need to recover will depend on the individual and on the extent of the procedure. As a general guide, you can return to work or school after two weeks and to normal activity levels within three weeks. You will need to avoid strenuous activity and exercise for about 4 weeks and any activity where your nose might get knocked for at least eight weeks.
The swelling and bruising from the surgery will settle after a week or so, but keep in mind it can take several months before the final results from your surgery are revealed.
During the recovery period, it’s important to take certain precautions to ensure your new nose heals correctly. You should sleep on your back with your head elevated on pillows and avoid strenuous exercises. Contact sports are to be avoided entirely. Avoid prolonged sun exposure because it can interfere with healing.
If you are interested in finding out more about septoplasty surgery, the next step is to book a consultation with a qualified surgeon to talk through your expectations. The cost of an initial consultation at NorthEast Plastic Surgery is $140.
NorthEast Plastic Surgery has been designed to offer a bespoke and unrivalled cosmetic plastic surgical service of superlative standard and quality. Dr Seneviratne and Mr Tansley share their Australian and British plastic and cosmetic surgery experience in these educational articles.