Septoplasty is a surgical procedure done to correct the positioning of the nasal septum. Given in this write-up is information about the recovery time for septoplasty, and the factors affecting it.
There is no definite figure that can be given for this surgery, since it could range from anywhere between $2,000 to 10,000, depending on the location, institution, and doctor involved.
Septoplasty, also known as deviated septum surgery, is a corrective surgical procedure that is undertaken to straighten the cartilaginous nasal septum, which is the partition between the two nasal cavities. In most cases, the septum should run down the center of the nose, but when it deviates to any one side, then not only does it give a very unequal and unsightly look to the nose, but it also causes problems in breathing. This is because it impedes the airflow in one of the nostrils. However, the inferior turbinate on the opposite side enlarges, which is known as compensatory hypertrophy. Thus, to counter all these problems, there is a need for undergoing septoplasty surgery. However, many people wonder about the recovery time needed after a septoplasty experience.
Timeline for Recovery
- The surgery involves the introduction of either an internal or external splint in the nasal passage, and the splint is packed into place with cotton or gauze. This packing is removed after 24 – 48 hours, depending on the doctor’s advice.
- The external splint are removed in 7 – 10 days time; whereas, internal splints can be removed after a period of 1 – 3 weeks.
- Once the splint is removed, the initial discomfort can be alleviated with oral medications. The majority of the swelling and bruising of the nasal area subsides gradually over a course of 2 – 4 weeks.
- Once the swelling has reduced, external sutures (if any) are removed in 4 – 6 days. In case of internal sutures, absorbable material is used such that the sutures dissolve as the wound heals.
- Results of the surgery can be verified in 3 months, at the earliest, in case there have been no complications. In case of any factors or complications, the recovery time could get extended. Complete recovery could be evident in 12 – 14 months after the surgery
Factors Affecting Recovery Time
The first week may be a bit stressful, with the need for extra care and certain extra precautions. However, if the precautions are religiously followed, there is nothing to be worried about. Given below are the factors that can affect the recovery period.
One of the most common complications is excessive bleeding. Some amount of bleeding is expected to occur after a septoplasty procedure, but sometimes, the bleeding may be excessive. In some cases, the bleeding may even go on for the first two weeks after the surgery. This is especially seen in cases where either the patient blows his nose too strongly, or when he does any other such strenuous activity. Smoking also contributes to increasing the amount of bleeding that takes place. To eliminate blood clots or nasal emissions, the gentle use of a clean cotton swab is recommended.
There is a risk of contracting an infection after any kind of a surgical procedure. This is because, after a surgery, there is an open wound which could end up becoming a breeding ground for bacteria if proper care is not taken.
Some amount of swelling and bruising can, more often than not, be expected. Although this rarely affects the recovery time, there could be cases where the swelling could be immense, such that it may lead to a nasal obstruction, causing a difficulty in breathing.
Certain other rare complications include septal perforation (which may or may not be permanent), although these normally occur as a result of drug abuse, smoking, etc. Sometimes, altered sense of smell may also occur, but this is a very mild symptom, and normally occurs only as an immediate post-operative complication. Complications that occur due to anesthesia may also be seen in some cases.
How to Speed up the Recovery Period
- There will be a gauze that is taped underneath the nose. This gauze must be changed every hour, so that chances of any infection are reduced.
- One of the best recovery tips is to do saline irrigations of the nasal cavity. This helps in speeding up the healing, and also cleans up the nasal passage.
- If an antibiotic cover is given, then it should be strictly followed so as to prevent any infections.
- The patient is must blow his nose only after a day or two, and that too very gently.
- Only after another week or two are patients asked to blow their nose normally.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.