What you can expectBy Mayo Clinic staff
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Septoplasty straightens the nasal septum by trimming, repositioning, and replacing cartilage or bone. The surgeon works through incisions inside the nose.
During the procedure
Septoplasty requires local or general anesthesia, depending on the complexity of the surgery and you and your surgeon's preferences.
- Local anesthesia. Usually used in an outpatient setting, this type of anesthesia is limited to a specific area of your body. Your doctor injects the pain-numbing medication into your nasal tissues. If you will also have sedation, this is given with medication injected through a catheter placed in a vein — an intravenous (IV) line. This makes you groggy but not fully unconscious.
- General anesthesia. With general anesthesia, you inhale an anesthetic agent or receive an anesthetic through an IV line. This type of anesthesia affects your entire body and induces a temporary state of unconsciousness.
Discuss with your doctor beforehand which kind of anesthesia is best in your case.
During surgery, the incision is closed with absorbable thread. Soft silicone splints may be inserted inside each nostril to support the septum. To prevent postoperative bleeding, your doctor may place bandage-like material in your nose.
After the surgery, you're moved to a recovery room, where the staff monitors you and watches for any complications. You might leave later that day or, if the procedure is done in a hospital and you aren't ready for discharge, you might stay overnight.
After the procedure
To further decrease the chances of bleeding and swelling, your doctor may ask that you follow these precautions for several weeks after surgery:
- Avoid strenuous activities, such as aerobics and jogging.
- Don't blow your nose.
- Elevate your head when you're sleeping.
- Wear clothes that fasten in the front; don't pull clothing, such as shirts or sweaters, over your head.
- Kridel RWH, et al. The nasal septum. In: Flint PW, et al. Cummings Otolaryngology: Head & Neck Surgery. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05283-2..X0001-8--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05283-2&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed April 28, 2011.
- Fact sheet: Deviated septum. American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery. http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/deviatedSeptum.cfm. Accessed April 27, 2011.
- Ketcham AM, et al. Complications and management of septoplasty.
- Otolaryngologic Clinics of North America. 2010;43:897.
- Preparing for nose surgery. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. http://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/nose-surgery-.html?sub=Preparing%20for%20nose%20surgery. Accessed April 30, 2011.
- Rhinoplasty surgery steps. American Society of Plastic Surgeons. http://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/nose-surgery-.html?sub=Rhinoplasty%20surgery%20steps. Accessed April 30, 2011.