The nasal septum is the wall that separates the left and right airways in the nose, dividing the two nostrils. It is made of boneand hard tissue called cartilage.

Septoplasty is done to correct problems with the septum inside the nose. The surgery is done to:

  • Fix a septum that is out of place and is blocking the nose.
  • Repair a crooked, bent or deformed septum that blocks the ability to breathe.
  • Repair a hole in the septum.
  • Control sinus infections.
  • Control irregular nose bleeding.

What do you need to know about your surgery after you go home?

  • Avoid lying face-down for the first few days after surgery.
  • Avoid exercise and heavy lifting for two weeks, or as advised by your doctor.
  • If you have to sneeze during the next two weeks, try to keep your mouth open as you sneeze.
  • Do not blow out your nose for two weeks.
  • Avoid activities that put pressure on your face (e.g. bending over or holding your breath).
  • Avoid straining with bowel movements. If constipated for more than two days, take laxatives if prescribed (if not, please contact your doctor).
  • Protect your nose from injury.
  • Avoid touching or rubbing your nose. If you have to, then do it gently.
  • Avoid taking Aspirin or Ibuprofen (e.g. Advil) for two weeks, or as advised by your doctor. These drugs increase the risk of bleeding.
  • Do not stay in the sun for more than 15 minutes to avoid getting sunburned on the nose.
  • Take pain killers as prescribed.
  • Elevate your head slightly and sleep with an extra pillow.
  • Avoid airplane travel for two weeks, or as advised by your doctor.
  • Tobacco use is strictly prohibited. Nicotine decreases blood flow and can compromise wound healing.

Why is nasal douching (irrigation) usually prescribed after septoplasty?

Nasal douching removes clots and crusting from the nose as it heals. It helps the healing process to occur without infection, and in the longer term, prevents the formation of too much scar tissue (adhesions) in the nose.

What do you need to know about nasal douching (if prescribed)?

  • In one cup of mildly warm water, add three teaspoons of salt and one teaspoon of baking soda. Stir them well.
  • Fill a 60 ml syringe and rinse each nasal cavity at least three times per day.
  • Apply Vaseline generously in both cavities with a cotton swab after the washing.

What are some complications that you might experience after your surgery?

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Numbness in the nose
  • Numbness of upper incisors
  • Re-deviation of nasal septum
  • Septal perforation
  • Cerebrospinal fluid leak (rare)

When do you need to call your doctor or nurse?

  • Signs of infection: fever of 38°C or higher, chills.
  • Signs of wound infection: swelling, warm nose when touched, yellowish or greenish discharge or a foul smell coming out from your nose.
  • Excessive bleeding.
  • Packing comes out before the follow-up visit.
  • Unbearable pain even after receiving your prescribed pain killers.
  • Cough, shortness of breath or chest pain.
  • Upset stomach and throwing up.

When do you need to call your doctor or nurse?

  • Signs of infection: fever of 38°C or higher, chills.
  • Signs of wound infection: swelling, warm nose when touched, yellowish or greenish discharge or a foul smell coming out from your nose.
  • Excessive bleeding.
  • Packing comes out before the follow-up visit.
  • Unbearable pain even after receiving your prescribed pain killers.
  • Cough, shortness of breath or chest pain.
  • Upset stomach and throwing up.

Who do you need to follow-up with after your surgery?

  • Follow-up with your surgeon as requested to check on your surgery.
  • Your stitches, splints or nasal packs will be removed by your doctor during the follow-up.

How do you contact your doctor or nurse?

If you have any questions or concerns, please call 800 8 CCAD (800 8 2223).


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