Septoplasty Pros and Cons


The septum is the middle cartilage of the nose that divides the nose into two nostrils. If the two nostrils are not symmetrical, in the same shape, or of the same size, the nasal septum has deviation.

A deviated septum can cause shortness of breath, dry mouth, and the urgency to blow the nose repeatedly throughout the day, which leads to a nosebleed. Septoplasty is a type of nose surgery performed to correct the septal deviation.

This article introduces this surgery and discusses its procedure, side effects, and aftercare.

What Is Septoplasty?

What Is Septoplasty?

Since people with septum deviation cannot breathe properly through their nose, they may experience constant fatigue and boredom, dyspnea, and in severe cases, stroke and heart attack.

Septoplasty, also known as deviated septum surgery, is a significant operation through which the crocked septum is straightened. This surgery removes the deviated portion of the cartilage, and the patients can breathe through their nose easily, especially during sleep.

Although septoplasty is not considered cosmetic surgery, it can be combined with rhinoplasty to eliminate nasal defects and deformities.

Rhinoplasty in Iran
Read more: Rhinoplasty Surgery Procedure: Step by Step

Diagnosing Deviated Septum

People are sometimes born with a deviated septum, but an injury or trauma can also cause it. The doctor can diagnose deviated septum by physical examination, CT scan, or endoscopy.

Usually, people with a deviated septum have one nasal passage much smaller than the other, so the doctor can examine the nostrils and cartilage and identify the crooked septum.

But in some other cases, the cause of nasal blockage may be either nasal inflammation, polyps, or septal deviation. On this occasion, the doctor uses a tube with a camera on end (endoscopy) or CT scan to detect the cause of the blockage. If the patient has septal deviation, the doctor will offer surgical treatment. 

Deviated Septum

How to Prepare for Septoplasty?

Before septoplasty, consider the following tips:

  • Take necessary tests and medical evaluations;
  • Do not take blood thinners, herbal supplements, and anti-inflammatory drugs from 15 days before the surgery as they may cause bleeding;
  • If you currently take certain medications, inform your doctor;
  • If you have a food or drug allergy, inform your surgeon;
  • Do not eat or drink anything from 12 hours before surgery to prevent nausea and vomiting;
  • Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol from a week before the surgery;
  • Ask someone to drive you home and be your caregiver for a couple of days;
  • Wear loose and comfortable clothes on the day of surgery.


Septoplasty Procedure

Septoplasty is mainly done under general anesthesia, but in some cases, it is performed under local anesthesia. Depending on the surgery's severity and the case's complexity, the operation takes one to two hours. 

The surgeon usually makes an incision on one side of the nose and lifts the mucous membrane to reach the septum. Cutting the left or right side of the nose depends on the severity of the deviation and the patient's expectations. 

When the surgeon has placed the septal cartilage correctly, they remove all the extra bones or cartilage, so the nose improves. Then, after repositioning the mucous membrane, they stitch the septum and membrane to hold them in place.

deviated septum shape

Septoplasty Recovery

If your surgery is done under local anesthesia, you can go back home a couple of hours after the surgery; however, if your surgery is done under general anesthesia, you should stay at least a night at the hospital until the anesthesia is out of your system. After the surgery, your healthcare provider will wrap your nose with cotton bandages to prevent extra bleeding. The bandages will be removed one or two days after the operation; you can take a shower or wash your face.

To minimize the pain and lower the risk of infection, you may be asked to take certain painkillers and antibiotics during recovery. Also, you should avoid taking aspirin, ibuprofen, and other blood thinners to prevent bleeding. 

It is highly suggested to avoid smoking or even dusty places until your nose is healed. Remember that resting, having a healthy diet, and following the doctor’s instructions are the keys to a convenient recovery after septoplasty.

Rhinoplasty Aftercare

Septoplasty Post-operative Instructions

  • After surgery, you may feel swelling, pressure, and pain in the nose, which are completely normal;
  • Avoid heavy physical activities for two to four weeks;
  • Avoid blowing your nose or inserting foreign objects inside it;
  • Do not touch or rub your nose or skin around it;
  • Do not laugh or cry hard;
  • If you had to sneeze, do it through your mouth;
  • Clean your face with a wet wipe as long as there are bandages on your face;
  • Have a balanced diet rich in fiber and protein;
  • Do not bend over or lift heavy objects;
  • Reduce your sodium intake as it causes more swelling;
  • Elevate your head by putting two pillows under it while sleeping;
  • Avoid crowded places where you may get hit in the face;
  • Avoid straining during bowel movements;
  • Wear loose or button-front clothes so you won’t have to pull them over your head;
  • Improvement in breathing takes time. So, be patient and follow the postoperative instructions.


Advantages of Deviated Septum Surgery

No more breathing problems: since the septoplasty, the air passages of the nose are reopened, and your breathing problems will be resolved.

Regaining the senses of smell and taste: some people lose their sense of smell and taste due to the blockage of the nasal passages. After septoplasty, your senses of smell and taste are restored, and you can enjoy tasty dishes like others.

Better sleeping at night: when the septum is properly shaped, your sleeping problems, such as snoring or shortness of breath, will be eliminated; therefore, you will have a high-quality sleep without a dry mouth or nosebleed.

Reduction in sinus infections and headaches: by widening the air passageways in the nose, the sinuses are drained down completely, and, as a result, you will experience fewer sinus headaches.

Septoplasty helps to resolve breathing problems.

Possible Risks of Deviated Septum Surgery

Deviated septum surgery is an easy and almost risk-free operation; however, it has some rare risks, such as:

  • Excessive bleeding;
  • Severe and uncontrollable infection, which may lead to fever;
  • Feeling dizziness and headache for a day due to anesthesia;
  • Facial pain;
  • Change in blood pressure and heart rate;
  • Nasal septal abscess;
  • The emergence of a hole in the septum (septum perforation) which may lead to nasal obstruction;
  • Spinal fluid leakage, which leads to infection;
  • Swelling and mild bruising;
  • Numbness in nasal skin and upper lip;
  • Temporary discoloration on the incision site;
  • Dryness in the nasal passage; and
  • Changes in taste and smell, and voice.


Warning Signs After Septoplasty 

In case of having any of the following problems, call your doctor or go to urgent clinic care:

  • Heavy nosebleed; 
  • High fever;
  • Severe headache which gets worse gradually;
  • Disorientation and inability to focus your attention;
  • Pain that regular painkillers cannot control;
  • Shortness of breath; and
  • Stiff neck or shoulder.


Conclusion

Septoplasty is a type of nose surgery through which the deficiencies in septum cartilage are eliminated. You should probably undergo septoplasty if you have one small nostril or frequent breathing problems.

In Iran, numerous skilled and experienced specialists and modern clinics provide you with the best healthcare services. For more information on septoplasty in Iran, Contact Raadina Co. via this link.

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FAQs on Septoplasty

Is the result of septoplasty permanent?

If you follow the postoperative instructions and your nose is not injured, the septoplasty results will be permanent. 

Is septoplasty a kind of rhinoplasty?

Both septoplasty and rhinoplasty involve changes in the nasal area. However, in septoplasty, the septum cartilage is operated on, while in rhinoplasty, the whole nose structure is changed for aesthetic purposes. 

Is septoplasty painful?

You may feel mild to moderate pain for a couple of days after the surgery, which can be controlled by taking prescribed painkillers. 

Does septoplasty leave scars?

Since most incisions are internal, just a few small scars will be on your skin after the operation, all of which will fade away after a month or two. Meanwhile, you have to use topical ointments and creams to minimize scarring.

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