This term refers to a twist or deformity of the central partition in the nose. It is a common condition and can cause nasal blockage. The cause is usually not known although can result from an injury to the nose.
Surgery to correct a deviated septum is often part of rhinoplasty surgery (see septorhinoplasty) although is more commonly performed on its own or with turbinate surgery (see treatment of rhinitis).
The nasal septum is made of bone and cartilage and the operation changes the shape by a combination of removing, moving and straightening bone and cartilage. The operation is called Septoplasty.
Post-operative advice for patients undergoing Sinus surgery, Polypectomy, Turbinate surgery and Septal surgery
- You will either stay overnight or be discharged the morning after surgery depending on how well you are feeling. If you go home on the day of surgery you will require a friend or relative to pick you up from the hospital and you will need to have someone with you at home for the first night.
- Depending on the degree of surgery on the internal nasal passages you will feel blocked for the first 1-2 weeks after the surgery and this will then gradually improve over the next four weeks. This is of course variable, depending on the extent of the surgery required.
- Your nose may bleed a little after the operation and this can sometimes continue for several days. We may insert nasal packs to control bleeding during the operation and these are either removed before you leave hospital (non absorbable type) or left in the nose when you go home (fragmentable type). If bleeding starts when you are at home and is profuse then you need to phone for an ambulance to take you to Casualty. Remain calm! This can occasionally occur after nasal surgery. If it is relatively minor and persistent, phone the office for advice. Occasionally a patient may require further treatment to stop post-operative haemorrhage and may even require further surgery to stop it (< 1%).
- The surgery is not particularly painful although you may feel ‘under the weather’ due to postoperative nasal blockage and the effects of the anaesthetic.
- You will be given pain killers and sometimes antibiotics (if there are signs of infection or nasal packs or splints, see below, are used) to take home with you from the hospital.
- You can use a decongestant spray (Otrivine or Sinex) for the first week after surgery if you are uncomfortable with nasal blockage. Two sprays should be applied to each side of the nose twice daily. The spray can be provided by the Hospital or can be bought from the Chemist.
- Stitches used in the nose are almost always absorbable and do not require removal.
- Occasionally during septal surgery we insert plastic splints inside the nose to prevent scar tissue formation and support the nasal septum. These are removed in the clinic one week after the surgery. You will require antibiotics to prevent infection when splints are inserted.
- You should not blow your nose for the first week after your surgery. If you sneeze, try to let it out through your mouth!
- The inside of your nose may be swollen and contain dry blood and mucus after the surgery depending on the type of surgery that you have had. This will clear between week 2 and 6.
- Avoid physical exertion for 2 weeks after surgery and then gradually increase to your normal level of exercise.
- Our aim is that your expectations are realized and we will do everything that we can to achieve this. If you have any concerns after the surgery please do not hesitate to contact us. We will routinely arrange a follow appointment, one to two weeks after your operation.