Answering your questions

A septoplasty is a surgical procedure that’s carried out under general anaesthetic to fix a deviated nasal septum.

A deviated septum occurs when the cartilage that separates your nostrils is out of position. This can cause breathing problems, nosebleeds, and pain.

Why do you need a septoplasty?

A septoplasty is required if you have a problem with your septum.  The septum is the cartilage and bone inside your nose that divides your nose into two halves. The septum is usually straight but it can be deviated or bent causing symptoms of a blocked nose.  A deviated septum may have been present since childhood or may be twisted by an injury.  This can happen to the cartilage, the bone or both.

Who does the operation?

All of our consultants are able to carry out a septoplasty. The operation takes place under general anaesthetic and takes about an hour. Patients normally go home on the day of the operation.

Before the Operation

You can help to ensure success of your septoplasty and avoid complications by following a few simple steps.  Stop smoking (if you do) at least 4 weeks prior to the procedure.   Maintain a healthy weight and taking regular exercise.

The Operation

The septoplasty is performed through your nostrils and does not result in any facial scars or black eyes. The surgeon will make a cut in the lining of your nose over your septum.  They will lift the mucosa (lining tissue) away from the cartilage and bone. They will remove the parts of the cartilage and bone that are bent.  They then put the rest back in the correct position. The cut will be closed with absorbable stitches which will fall out in a few weeks.

After the operation

For the first 24 hours after a general anaesthetic  you should follow some simple steps.  You should not drive, sign any legal documents, operate machinery or do any potentially dangerous activities (including cooking).  Alcohol should also be avoided for 24 hours. After the procedure you can expect to be in some pain.  The nursing team will give you pain medication to help control this. You may suffer bleeding for a week to 10 days after the operation. Your nose may feel blocked for up to 6 weeks. You must not blow your nose vigorously for the first few days. Do not exercise, have a hot bath or bend down for 1-2 weeks as this may provoke a nosebleed. Stay off work/school and away from groups of people for two weeks to prevent catching a cold. This could result in an infection. Maintain regular exercise as soon as you are able to.

Is a follow up appointment required?

A follow up appointment may be required within a few weeks of the operation to check how it is healing.  If one hasn’t been sent to you with a copy of your letter from the consultant, please contact the office