The nose houses many septums, but septoplasty refers to an operation on the largest septum, which is the middle part of your nose. This surgery is intended to straighten out the septum so that the airflow through the nose is corrected. This surgery is performed by making an incision into the soft tissues of the septum. The incisions are made inside your nose. The surgeon then lifts the membranes off the cartilage and bone, and then straightens out the septum by either removing or straightening out the cartilage and bone.
I try to preserve as much bone and cartilage as possible, leaving my patients with natural support. Other surgeons remove more of the cartilage and bone and perform what is called a submucous resection. I also try to use endoscopes to perform septal surgery, as it allows me to directly see small deflections without lifting the membranes too far from the supporting septum. I call this an endoscopic septoplasty. I perform most septoplasty surgery with a local anesthesia with sedation, although many surgeons perform this surgery under general anesthesia.
Many surgeons put packing in the nose after a septoplasty. 1 usually do not and instead quilt the septum with dissolvable stitches.
My patients usually have minimal discomfort and rarely require more than a few Tylenols while they recuperate. In addition, bleeding is minimal and my patients often return to work the next working day. Patients usually remark that they notice an improvement in their breathing immediately after surgery.
Over the next few days you may notice some congestion, swelling, crusting, and scabbing; all of which can be removed at the next office visit. Patients usually remark that their breathing steadily improves after that. They may see slight setbacks with bad crusting and scabbing, which may need to be removed, although usually they find significant improvement in their breathing with a septoplasty.