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A septum is a bone and cartilage that separates the nasal cavity of the nose. When your nasal septum is off-center, crooked, or moved to one side of your nose, it is a condition known as a deviated septum and can make breathing difficult. To correct this condition, you may need to undergo Septoplasty, where your septum will be straightened to allow better airflow through your nose. This surgery is the only way to fix a deviated septum. However, septoplasty may also be performed to treat long-term sinusitis, remove nasal polyps, or treat other conditions that block the nasal airways. Sometimes, surgeons also recommend this surgery to stop recurrent nosebleeds and facial pains. For conditions other than deviated septum, surgeons often only recommend septoplasty after ruling out other treatments.
You may feel drowsy for a few hours following the surgery and you may also feel pain. However, your surgeon will prescribe medication to help with the pain. Some congestion and bleeding can occur after you are discharged from the hospital as your body recovers, but these symptoms should be gone in 2 weeks. The recovery period varies from one person to another. In general, you should be able to return to work within a few days, but you should allow at least three weeks before going back to your full normal routine. You should also limit your physical activities such as exercise for several weeks to minimize swelling and speed up healing because intense physical activities can increase your blood pressure and lead to bleeding.
The success rate for septoplasty is high, with up to 85% of people experiencing a significant improvement in their nasal blockage after surgery.
However, some people will require a second surgery if they are not satisfied with the results. Septoplasty is a very low-risk procedure, but you should be aware of the possible complications and side effects and these risks can include:
Other risks such as scarring, and altered nose shape, discoloration of the nose, a decreased sense of smell, tooth or nose numbness, and continuing symptoms are also possible. Other than following your surgeon’s aftercare instructions, keeping the nose clean and washing your hands often can reduce the risks.