Septoplasty is a surgical procedure to correct the shape of the septum of the nose. The goal of this procedure is to correct defects or deformities of the septum. The nasal septum is the separation between the two nostrils. In adults, the septum is composed partly of cartilage and partly of bone. Septal deviations are either congenital (present from birth) or develop as a result of an injury. Most people with deviated septa do not develop symptoms. It is typically only the most severely deformed septa that produce significant symptoms and require surgical intervention. However, many septoplasties are performed during rhinoplasty procedures, which are most often performed for cosmetic purposes.
Diagnosis / Preparation
The primary conditions that may suggest a need for septoplasty include :
- Nasal air passage obstruction
- Nasal septal deformity
- Headaches caused by septal spurs
- Chronic and uncontrolled nosebleeds
- Chronic sinusitis associated with a deviated septum
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Polypectomy (polyp removal)
- Tumor excision
- Turbinate surgery
How Should I Prepare For A Septoplasty ?
You should allow one to two weeks in your schedule when you can be free of work and social commitments. Most patients are comfortable being out in public by two weeks after surgery.
Two weeks prior to surgery, you will need to stop taking aspirin and other medications that can increase your risk of bleeding. You should have nothing to eat or drink after midnight on the night before your surgery. On the day of surgery, you should wear a loose button-down blouse or shirt; that is, one that does not need to be pulled over your head or face.
If your procedure is to be done on an outpatient basis, you will need someone to drive you home and stay with you the first twenty-four hours. Your surgeon may need to see you back the morning after your surgery.
What Are The Possible Complications Or Side Effects Of A Septoplasty ?
- As with any surgery, there is always a risk of infection. Your surgeon may prescribe an antibiotic as a precaution.
- You should expect some nasal drainage with a small amount of bleeding for the first few days after surgery.
- You may experience numbness of the nose, cheeks, and upper lip. Numbness in the tip of the nose may take several months to return to normal. Other areas will resolve more quickly.
- You should expect some bruising and swelling of the nose, eyelids, and upper lip. Most of this will resolve in the first two weeks after surgery.
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