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Septoplasty Recovery Tips

Septoplasty is a surgical procedure that is recommended for individuals who have a deviated nasal septum. This HealthHearty article provides a few tips for quickly recovering from a septoplasty.
HealthHearty Staff
Last Updated: Feb 8, 2018
The term 'nasal septum' refers to the thin wall or partition that separates the left and right nostrils, or divides the nasal cavity into the left and right nasal cavities. It is straight, and is made up of cartilage and bone. It is lined with a thin mucous membrane. Under normal circumstances, the septum is located in the middle. Problems can arise if the septum is either bent, or located off-center. The problem of deviated septum could occur due to a traumatic injury, especially if one receives a blow to the nose. In some cases, the defect might be congenital.
Septoplasty is a surgery that repairs the septum, thereby clearing the nasal airway obstruction. This helps one breathe easily. It can also be suggested for individuals affected by recurrent sinusitis or epistaxis (nosebleeds) caused due to a deviated septum. Surgery is recommended in cases where drug therapy hasn't helped. The duration of the procedure is less than an hour. Hospitalization is not needed. Patient is discharged as soon as the effect of the anesthetic wears off. Recovery period is usually up to eight weeks, during which care must be taken. The following sections provide information about this procedure, along with self-care measures that can fasten the recovery process.
Septoplasty
Septoplasty is performed to straighten a deviated septum. It is performed after the administration of local or general anesthesia. Also, once the surgery is over, the nostrils are packed with cotton to prevent nosebleeds. These are removed after 2-3 days. While the patient is discharged after 3-4 hours, one might take a few weeks to recover completely.
Precautionary Measures to Speed Up Septoplasty Recovery
Do follow the instructions and self-care measures given by the surgeon to shorten the recovery period and ensure successful recovery without any complications.
In the first week, avoid breathing by nose. Breathe through your mouth.

Don't blow your nose for a week to clear any drainage. You can sniff gently. This is essential because the tissues are not yet healed, and blowing can cause bleeding. Also, keep your mouth open while you sneeze.

➠ Take ample rest. Though it's your nose that has been operated upon, refrain from performing strenuous physical activities for 2-3 weeks. Also, avoid driving.

➠ You can use contact lenses, but do not wear glasses for about 3-5 weeks.

➠ Avoid bending down for the first 2-3 days. Bending will take your head below your heart level, which in turn would cause swelling and bleeding. Keep your head elevated by propping it on 2-3 pillows when you lie down. This will help reduce nasal drainage.

➠ Airline travel must also be avoided for a few weeks after septoplasty.

➠ Application of ice packs over the nose would help reduce swelling and pain.

➠ One must take the painkillers as per the dosage and duration recommended by the doctor. If any drug makes you feel drowsy, it's advisable to take it at bedtime.

➠ A nasal spray might be prescribed for keeping the nostrils moist and reducing bleeding and drainage. Depending on the type of spray, a doctor will prescribe the frequency and period for which you need to continue its use.

➠ Visiting the doctor on time for regular follow-ups is a very important part of septoplasty recovery process. Do inform the doctor about discomfort or any other problems that you are experiencing.

➠ Resume work or strenuous activities, only when your doctor tells you to do so.

Possible Complications
Consult your healthcare provider, if you experience any of the following signs or symptoms:
Severe pain
Excess and frequent bleeding
Pus formation
Numbness on the tip of the nose or upper front teeth
Fever over 100.5 degree Fahrenheit
Do follow the aforementioned tips to speed up the recovery process. In case of discomfort or any distressing symptoms, consult your healthcare provider at the earliest.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.