What is septoplasty? The Mayo Clinic defines it as a surgical procedure to correct a deviated nasal septum- a displacement of the bone and cartilage that divides your two nostrils. The nasal septum has three main purposes: to support the nose, support the mucous membranes of the nose, and regulate the flow of air. A deviated septum could result in difficulty breathing, snoring, and even sleep apnea.
How do I know if septoplasty is right for me? Septoplasty could be performed to treat long-term sinusitis, removing nasal polyps, correcting a severely deviated septum, and in some cases chronic nosebleeds. A doctor will discuss your medical history, what symptoms you are experiencing, conduct a physical examination, take photographs, and discuss your expectations. No need to worry and try to decide on your own. Dr. Evan Ransom at San Francisco Center for Facial Plastic, Reconstructive and Laser Surgery will consult and help determine the best course of action for you.
What should I expect before, during and after a septoplasty? Stopping any blood-thinning medications (aspirin and ibuprofen) two weeks before and after surgery may be recommended. If you are a smoker, it is recommended to stop because this will interfere with the healing process after surgery. Septoplasty will require a local or general anesthesia depending on how complicated the procedure. The surgeon will straighten the nasal septum by cutting and repositioning the cartilage or bone within the nose. The surgery is usually done as an outpatient procedure and sent home the same day. For most patients, recovery time is fairly quick. The pain may subside with a few days to a week. There will be swelling inside the nose and that ‘stuffed up” feeling will last until the swelling decreases. Dr. Evan Ransom does not use nasal packing which allows his patients to be more comfortable during the recovery process. During recovery, it is important to avoid strenuous activities, resist blowing your nose, elevate your head when sleeping, and wear button-up clothing to avoid pulling clothes over your head.
What is my outlook after I have recovered from septoplasty? In most cases, patients will notice an improvement in their nasal breathing and decreased snoring. Cartilage and tissue may gradually move or reshape over time as your nose heals. No two noses are alike and results can vary per patient.
If you are tired of having difficulty breathing and cannot figure out a solution, call Dr. Evan Ransom at San Francisco Center for Facial Plastic, Reconstructive and Laser Surgery for a consultation today.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Evan Ransom