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What To Expect After Deviated Septum Surgery

Are There Other Reasons Not To Breathe Well

Deviated Septum Surgery (Septoplasty) for Difficulty in Breathing

Yes. You may also have inferior turbinate hypertrophy which is swelling of the tissue on either side of the inside of your nose that can block your breathing. Nasal valves have been shown to be a common as a cause of nasal obstruction as the deviated nasal septum. These are the narrowest areas where air passes inside the nose and opening the valves can improve airflow and breathing. Other causes include allergies, nasal polyps, nasal tumors, trauma, congenital defects, autoimmune diseases, and others. Your otolaryngologist can look into your nose with an endoscope and let you know if there are blockages.

The Lowdown On Deviated Septum And Septoplasty

Nov 2, 2015 | Ear Nose Throat |

Surgical correction of the deviated septum is one of the most common surgical procedures that I perform in the operating room. The formal medical term for this procedure is called septoplasty, septo stemming from the Latin word saeptum which means fence, enclosure, or partition and plasty deriving from the Greek word plastia, which means to form. This is one of the most common nasal surgeries performed by Ear, Nose and Throat surgeons and facial plastic surgeons. Often times it is performed in conjunction with other surgeries of the nose, such as rhinoplasty, turbinate reduction, and sinus surgery.

Lets begin with the anatomy. The septum is the structure in the midline of the nose that is made out of cartilage. It functions as structural support for the tip of the nose and is made out of cartilage to allow it to absorb the occasional blow to the nose without breaking or fracturing. In addition, the septum separates the nose into two compartments and also functions to humidify and warm the air that we breathe.

How do I Know I Have a Deviated Septum?

After examining the nose with the camera any board-certified ENT surgeon will be able to tell you if have a deviated septum. Dont be alarmed if your doctor informs you that it is deviated. Approximately 75 percent of the population has some degree of deviation in their septum. The real question is if the deviation is actually causing the nasal obstructionor is it something else.

What Is A Deviated Septum

A deviated septum describes the condition in which the cartilage dividing the nasal cavity is not in the right place or is crooked.

There is a very small percentage of people who have a straight nasal septum most have one that is off-center.

Trauma often causes septal deviation, although it may also simply be the result of a persons genetics.

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Are There Other Causes Of Nasal Obstruction

Yes. Allergies and polyps can cause nasal blockages. Also, turbinates long ridges of bone and tissue inside the nose that protrude into the nostrils can obstruct if they are too large. Steroid nasal sprays can reduce swelling in turbinates, and adhesive nasal strips can provide temporary relief.

Wear Contacts Instead Of Glasses

Septoplasty and Turbinate Reduction Surgery: Your Quick Guide ...

Avoid wearing glasses during the first few weeks to prevent any pressure or stress from being put on the nose while it is healing. Contacts are an excellent alternative and do not involve any pressure on the bridge of the nose. If you cannot wear contacts, talk to Dr. Torkian about alternatives such as suspending your glasses from a headband while reading or just relaxing without your glasses during healing.

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How Is A Deviated Septum Diagnosed

A doctor will examine the inside of the nose, possibly by performing a nasal endoscopy, which involves inserting a tube with a camera on the end. A computed tomography scan can also detect a deviated septum, but it is usually unnecessary. After the diagnosis, the doctor will discuss treatment options, including septoplasty.

What Are The Treatments Used For A Deviated Septum

For some patients, non-invasive options such as medication can help alleviate symptoms associated with a deviated septum. These may include decongestants, antihistamines, or nasal sprays, which wont correct the problem but may be effective at managing symptoms.

However, in some cases, medicine may not provide enough relief. In other cases, such as with decongestants, they may cause a rebound effect and actually make symptoms worse if theyre used for too long. They can also cause side effects such as increasing your blood pressure, and antihistamines may cause drowsiness.

When medication isnt successful or is causing troublesome side effects, a procedure called a septoplasty may be recommended.

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What To Expect From The Septoplasty Recovery Process

The septum is the cartilage that divides the nose into two nostrils. If you have a crooked or deviated septum, a doctor will most likely recommend you get surgery to allow better airflow through the nose and possibly improve your breathing. If youre planning on getting surgery to fix your septum and are curious about the healing process, heres what to expect from the septoplasty recovery process.

What Activities To Avoid After A Septoplasty

WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER NASAL SURGERY | First Week of Post-Sinus (Septoplasty) Operation Recovery!
  • Do not fly or swim anywhere in the initial first 2 weeks of the recovery.
  • Take at least 1 week off from work to recover from the surgery. If your work involves performing strenuous activities, then you should take a longer period of leave.
  • Avoid exercising and limiting any exertion for at least 2 weeks following the surgery,.
  • Make sure there is no bending, lifting, or straining.
  • Before starting to exercise, consult with your doctor.

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Does Insurance Pay For Deviated Septum Surgery

Most insurances will pay for functional surgery of the nose, that is, surgery that improves the ability of your nose to work well. Our office will check your benefits for you and let you know what your responsibility will be. We dont believe in patient surprises and will keep you informed throughout the process. You may have co-pays, deductibles, and co-insurance which we will tell you about. We try to keep our services affordable as we all have financial responsibilities. Of course, cosmetic surgery is never covered by insurance.

What To Expect When Undergoing Deviated Septum Surgery

A deviated septum occurs when the thin wall of bone and cartilage that normally separates your nose into two equally sized nostrils is moved to one side.

Some people are born with a deviated septum, but it can also be caused by an injury to the nose. It may have occurred so long ago that you dont even remember the incident, and it may have not seemed serious at all when it happened.

In some cases, people who have a deviated septum have one nasal passage thats much smaller than the other. This can make it difficult to breathe through your nose and may also lead to crusting or bleeding in some cases.

In this blog, Houston otolaryngologist Dr. Cecil Yeung will explain what you can expect when undergoing surgery to correct a deviated septum.

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What You Can Expect With Septoplasty

The nasal septum and the turbinates are normal parts of the nose. The nasal septum is the structure that divides your nasal passages into the right and left sides. A deviated septum refers to a septum that is crooked.

The septum is made of cartilage and bone. The cartilage and bone of the septum are lined by a thin membrane called mucosa. This layer acts like a layer of skin for the inside of the nose. This layer covers and protects the cartilage and bone. It also helps to keep the inside of the nose moist.

When the septum is deviated, one or both sides of the nose can become blocked. In these instances, surgery can help correct the deviation and improve airflow.

An in office CT scan and picture of the nose can show the condition of the nasal septum.

During a Septoplasty, Dr. Paciorek will straighten the cartilage and bone that have led to the septum being deviated. During the procedure, the lining is first lifted off the cartilage and bone. The cartilage and bone can then be reshaped. Sometimes, portions of the cartilage and bone need to be removed. The lining is then laid back down.

Turbinates and Turbinate Surgery:

Nasal obstruction can be caused by a number of problems. For example, things like allergies can cause nasal obstruction. Another very common cause of nasal obstruction is narrow nasal passages. Often, narrow nasal passages are the result of problems with the nasal septum and turbinates.

After Your Procedure:

Recovery After The Surgery

Deviated Septum Before And After (4) » Rhinoplasty: Cost, Pics, Reviews ...

You should be able to go home after the operation, but you will need someone to drive you home. There are some things that youâll need to remember in the days and weeks following surgery:

  • Avoid heavy lifting and other hard activities.
  • Keep your head raised when you sleep. You might need to use an extra pillow.
  • Avoid blowing your nose.

Make sure to get all your instructions in writing — for care of your nose and for medications — before you head home. Itâs very important to follow your doctorâs advice to avoid complications.

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How To Speed Up The Deviated Septum Surgery Recovery

Here are some tips that will help shorten deviated septum surgery recovery time:

1. Take a Good Rest

After your return home, you should go to your bed and take plenty of rest. Be sure to keep your head elevated by keeping a couple of additional pillows under your neck. Keeping your head above your heart will help minimize fluid accumulation in the tissues, which in turn will prevent and reduce swelling. You may require assistance to get out of bed for the first few days. Be sure to avoid straining while passing stool or urinating. Ask your doctor to give you a gentle laxative or stool softener to treat constipation.

2. Apply Icepack for Swelling

You may have swollen nose, cheeks, upper lip, and eyes for several days after your surgery. It’s normal and usually goes away in a few days. You can use an icepack to help reduce swelling. You can simply put a few frozen vegetables in a pack and apply it on your nose and around the eyes to reduce swelling.

3. Change the Gauze Dressing Properly

It is common to experience some bleeding after your procedure but it should resolve in a day or so. Be sure to change the gauze dressing that collects blood only when it becomes saturated. Some people have to change these dressings every hour for the first 24 hours after surgery. You no longer have to use any dressing after a couple of days. Avoid taking aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications such as naproxen or ibuprofen for at least three weeks after surgery.

4. Avoid Irritants

Preparing For A Septoplasty

Your doctor may ask you to stop taking certain medications two weeks before the surgery. These medications may include aspirin , ibuprofen , and other blood thinners. This is done to reduce your risk of excessive bleeding during and after the procedure. Be sure to tell your doctor if youre allergic to certain medications or if you have a history of bleeding problems.

In some cases, people have a septoplasty under local anesthesia, which numbs the area to prevent pain. However, most people have the surgery under general anesthesia, which means theyre asleep during the procedure.

Dont eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the procedure if youre going to be under general anesthesia. This will help prevent you from vomiting and choking if you become nauseated from the anesthesia during surgery.

Bring a family member or friend who can drive you home after the septoplasty. General anesthesia may make you drowsy after the procedure. You shouldnt drive until the effects have fully worn off.

Your doctor might take pictures of your nose before the procedure. Comparing photos from before and after the procedure can help you see how your nose has changed.

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How Is The Recovery From A Septoplasty

The recovery is not fun at all although it is generally not very painful. Most patients do have obstruction of both sides of the nose that lasts for most of the week or even until you see your doctor. Dr. Mourad provides pain medication if you need it but most of the time Tylenol or no medication is used. You return to our office one week after your procedure and your nose is decongested with any crusts removed from inside of the nose. Most patients are breathing better within a couple of weeks as the swelling inside of the nose improves.

Keeping The Sinuses Clear

How long is the recovery from a deviated septum surgery?

During a septoplasty, the sinuses can inflame which can lead to congestion in the nasal airways. In such cases, the patient can use a sinus rinse and saline nasal spray prescribed by the doctor. Sometimes sinus irrigation also works. This will clear the congestion by removing any debris or extra mucus in the nose.

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What Happens During The Surgery

Doctors call surgery to straighten the septum âseptoplasty.â Itâs usually done by an ear, nose, and throat specialist. Some people also get plastic surgery on their nose, to change its shape, at the same time.

Your surgeon wonât have to cut the skin on your face, where someone might see it. They can use instruments that they put into the nostrils.

Before your surgery, your doctor may tell you to avoid medications that include ibuprofen or aspirin, because they can make bleeding more likely.

On the day of the operation youâll get some type of anesthesia. You may or may not be awake for the surgery, which will usually take about an hour and a half.

Your surgeon will trim your septum and make it straighter. Sometimes, they may need to cut the bone in order to place it in the right position. You may also get silicone splints to keep your septum supported.

Your doctor may decide you need nasal packing. This is when gauze-like material is placed in the nasal cavity to absorb blood or other fluids. They will remove them at your first follow-up appointment.

How To Quickly Recover After Deviated Septum Surgery

Like any other surgical operation, rest and relaxation are important for a speedy recovery. And septoplasty is no exception to this rule.

You might have to be driven home from the clinic where the septoplasty is done. To speed up the recovery, it is a good idea not to strain too much immediately after deviated septum surgery. Therefore, you should consider taking 4 to 5 days off from work, stay at home and rest.

For about 2 weeks after deviated septum surgery, do not lift any heavy object or do any strenuous physical exercise. In fact, you should avoid air travel immediately after deviated septum surgery, since change in air pressure within the flight cabin could aggravate your newly-repaired deviated septum.

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How Long Does It Take To Recover From A Deviated Septum Surgery

In the hours following surgery, most people will feel drowsy. Anesthesia may cause nausea in some people. They may also experience pain as a result of the procedure. Your doctor will supply medications you might need during this period.

It is likely that both nostrils will receive packing to help control the bleeding. As a consequence, you will need to breathe through your mouth for a while following the procedure.

The packing will be removed before you are sent home from the hospital.

In rare cases, your doctor will use a splint on your nose. In that case, they usually schedule another appointment for the splints to be removed in 7 days.

Full recovery will take 4-6 weeks after the septoplasty procedure.

How Long Does Deviated Septum Surgery Recovery Take

Deviated Septum Surgery Before And After » Rhinoplasty: Cost, Pics ...

Depending on the complexity of the problem, the recovery time varies from 3 days, with no external swelling and very limited nasal obstruction, to a week or more when you undergo complex septal reconstructions.

This picture shows how the nose will be like when it fully recovers from a deviated septum surgery. The result is quite good, so take good care of yourself to help with a good recovery for best outcome.

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Balance Antibiotics With Probiotics

If you have to take antibiotics for your surgery, then make sure to balance out their effects with probiotics. Probiotics can come from supplements or foods such as yogurt or fermented foods. Probiotics can help to reduce the effects of antibiotics and should be taken at opposite times to ensure that they provide the greatest benefits.

Keep The Surgical Site Clean

Take care to not get your bandages wet by avoiding showering and taking a bath instead. Keep the surgical site clean by gently washing your face with a damp cloth and dabbing around the nose and nostrils with a cotton swab to clear away any discharge. Follow your surgeons instructions when it comes to changing bandages and take care to not dislodge any supportive structures that may have been placed in or around the nose. You will be instructed on how to change bandages if that is necessary. Some recoveries are fairly quick, and your surgeon will remove the bandages for you at your follow-up appointment.

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How Does A Patient Prepare For Septoplasty

The doctor must know of all medications including nonprescription drugs, supplements and herbs the patient is taking. Before surgery, the patient should stop taking drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen and certain herbal supplements, which make it harder for blood to clot. The doctor should also know if the patient has allergies or bleeding problems.

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