Surgeries We Perform

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What is septal surgery?

Septal surgery involves the correction of a bent nasal septum, which is a thin piece of cartilage and bone inside the nose between the right and left sides. It is about 7 cm long in adults. In some people, this septum is bent into one or both sides of the nose, causing a blockage. The surgery aims to straighten the septum and relieve blockage.

Why have septal surgery?

If you have a blocked nose due to the bend in the septum, the operation can help.

Sometimes, straightening out a bent septum is necessary to create space for other procedures, such as sinus surgery. The operation is not intended to change the appearance of your nose.

How is the operation done?

The operation typically takes about 30-45 minutes. You might be asleep, although in some cases, it can be performed with only your nose anesthetized. The procedure is usually performed inside your nose,using a telescope and camera leaving no scars or bruises on your face. A cut is made inside your nose to straighten the septum by removing some cartilage and bone and repositioning the rest of the septum back to the middle of the nose. Stitches are used to hold everything in place. Complex cases may require a cut across the skin between the noses and may be combined with rhinoplasty procedures.

Nasal Packs and splints

Packs may be inserted into each side of your nose to prevent bleeding and maintain position. These packs, also known as dressings, will block your nose, requiring mouth breathing. They are removed the morning after the operation, and any bleeding upon removal usually settles quickly.

Small plastic pieces called splints may be placed in your nose to prevent scar tissue formation. These are typically removed after about a week.

Does it hurt?

Not significantly, but the front of your nose may be tender for a few weeks.

After the Surgery

  • You may be given drops or a spray to aid in recovery. It may take up to three months for your nose to settle down, and your breathing to become clear again. Avoid dusty or smoky places during this time.
  • Stitches inside your nose will dissolve and usually fall out by themselves.
  • Do not blow your nose for about a week to prevent bleeding.
  • If you need to sneeze, do so with your mouth open to protect your nose.
  • Some blood-colored watery fluid from your nose in the first two weeks is normal.
  • Your nose will be blocked on both sides, similar to a heavy cold, for 10-14 days after the operation.

How long will I be off work?

You can expect to go home the day after your operation, and sometimes on the same day. Rest at home for at least a week. If your job involves heavy lifting, consider taking two weeks off. Avoid sports with a risk of nose injury for about a month. Check with your nurse if you need a sick note for your time in the hospital.

Possible complications

  • Septal surgery is generally safe, but there are some risks.
  • Nosebleeds may occur after the operation, and packs may be required to stop them. Bleeding can happen within the first 6-8 hours or up to 5-10 days after surgery. In rare cases, a return to the operating theatre with another general anesthetic may be necessary to address severe bleeding.
  • Infection is rare but serious if it occurs. See a doctor if your nose becomes increasingly blocked and sore. A hole in the septum, causing whistling noises, crusting, or nosebleeds, is a rare complication. While often asymptomatic, surgery may be required to repair the hole.
  • Very rarely, a slight change in the shape of the nose may occur, with a dip in the bridge. Most people don't notice any change, but corrective surgery is an option if desired.
  • Occasionally, there may be some numbness of the teeth and rarely altered smell which usually resolves with time.
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