What to expect following Septoplasty

Recovery following septoplasty usually lasts approximately 7-10 days. Most patients can go back to work after one week, or sooner if the patient feels well enough.  The most common complaint is congestion following the surgery and usually resolves without sequelae within one week. Patients are encouraged to use preservative free saline sprays and antibiotic ointments to promote healing. Nose blowing, heavy lifting, and air travel should be avoided for two weeks.

Patients will be prescribed antibiotics and pain medicines following surgery and should be taken as directed. If packing is placed, it is usually removed on the day following surgery. Packing is placed to help decrease bleeding and swelling, and also helps align the septum in its appropriate anatomic position.

The patient should alert their surgeon if they experience any increasing pain, headache or bleeding following surgery. The risks of complications are rare (less than 1%) following septoplasty include bleeding, septal peforation, septal hematoma and even rarer spinal fluid leak (less than 0.001%).

Greater than 95% of patients will report improved breathing through the nose following surgery. Septoplasty may also be performed in conjunction with endoscopic sinus surgery, turbinate reduction or outfracture, and cosmetic surgery of the nose (rhinoplasty).