What is Septoplasty?
Septoplasty, or deviated septum surgery, is a surgical procedure performed for treating the nasal blockage mostly caused by a deviated septum. A deviated septum is a displacement of the wall consisting of bone and cartilage between the nostrils. Besides septum, enlarged bone structures called turbinates may also block parts of the nose and cause for difficulty in breathing. Septoplasty is also used for treating long-term sinusitis, removal of nasal polyps, and treating the other conditions that block the nasal airway. The main purpose of this surgery is to form a nose through which we may breathe easily.
As the deviated septum can cause breathing problems, nosebleeds, snoring, sleep apnea, and pain, to have this condition may affect daily life and night sleep and decrease the quality of life. The main aim of septoplasty is to adjust the alignment of your septum to improve airflow through your nose and to help relief congestion in your nose. And this little arrangement in the nose provides an improved breathing function and increased quality of life.
Preparing for Septoplasty
Before septoplasty surgery, you may need to stop taking certain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, anti-inflammatory drugs, and other blood thinners to reduce your risk of excessive bleeding during and after the procedure. Your doctor may adjust your current medications if needed. You should definitely stop smoking for protecting the damage of it during this significant process. Don’t eat or drink anything after midnight the night before the procedure is a must if you’re going to be under general anesthesia. Your surgeon can use a thin and lighted tool to look at your nasal passage and to identify the shape of your septum. Septoplasty is done under local or general anesthesia and takes 60 to 90 minutes depending on the treated condition and scope of the operation.
Septoplasty Side Effects
Septoplasty side effects are most likely to dissipate within 2 weeks in general. All surgery comes with some complications and afterward side effects based on your general health and the severity of your condition. Typically, there are very few side effects of septoplasty with or without rhinoplasty. These are:
• Anesthesia risks
• A temporary numb sensation by the upper gum or teeth
• Surgical scars
• Numbness in the nose, cheeks and upper lip
• Discoloration of the skin
• Excessive Bleeding (rare)
• Excessive dryness or crusting of the nose
• Worsening of the sense of smell or taste (rare)
Septoplasty Recovery Time
Septoplasty recovery time is much less than rhinoplasty recovery time. There is no bruising or swelling on the outside of the nose because the operation is performed through the nostrils in the back of the nose without breaking nasal bones like in a rhinoplasty. There is no packing placed inside the nose. Therefore it is not necessarily painful, just a little bit uncomfortable as the patients are unable to breathe out of their nose due to the swelling and numbness. You may have splints inside your nose to hold the tissues in place after surgery. This may lead to discomfort during your post-op period. Splints usually should be left in place for as long as 1 to 2 weeks.
Patients are generally able to go back to work within 5-7 days after the operation once the stitches removed. You are not likely to have significant visible bruising and dark circles around your eyes after the surgery. However, if you have a septoplasty with rhinoplasty, you may have bruising and swelling for about 10-15 days.
Another procedure called turbinate reduction is also recommended for those who undergo septoplasty. Because a deviated septum can cause compression of the turbinates and difficulty in breathing. A turbinate reduction procedure may lead to help further open up the airways of a person who’s had a septoplasty.
How Much Does Septoplasty Cost?
Septoplasty cost is not extremely much as the procedure is not done for cosmetic purpose and in some conditions, it is paid by your health insurance agency. For patients without insurance, the cost may range between $2,000 and $7,000. Cost of septoplasty abroad may also vary widely and depending on the country in which the operation is done. It is significant to remember that price is an important part of your decision but it should not the only consideration of having a septoplasty surgery. More important thing is to make sure to choose a board-certified surgeon who has a good reputation and experience in performing this procedure.
Before and After Septoplasty
Septoplasty before and after results are remarkable, life-changing and definitely worth it. According to researches, there is a satisfaction range detected from 70.5% to 86%, and the patients usually report free of obstruction in breathing and increased the quality of life accordingly, even better than they expected.
A septoplasty with rhinoplasty also pleases patients who are not satisfied with neither the look of their nose nor their breathing quality.
This content is edited by Flymedi Medical Editors in 2019.