Having a deviated septum could make breathing more complicated than it needs to be. When you have a deviated septum, your nasal septum, the cartilage and bone dividing your two nostrils in half, is crooked or off center. Some are born with it, while others develop a deviated septum following an injury. To correct this, some people opt to undergo septoplasty, which is a surgical procedure in many clinics in Denver, Colorado that involves repositioning and straightening the septum. But, is septoplasty necessary?
The most common reason people choose to undergo septoplasty is to fix their deviated septum that’s affecting their airflow; hence, their breathing. In some cases, septoplasty is recommended alongside other surgical procedures like tumor removal and sinus surgery. Those who’ve had unsuccessful non-surgical procedures for snoring issues or obstructive sleep apnea may also need septoplasty. Additionally, those with enlarged nasal turbinates and are having breathing problems usually choose to undergo the procedure. The turbinates are long, thin, and fine bone structures extending into the nostrils’ breathing passageways that helps filter, humidify, and heat the air, as well as filter and trap airborne particles.
Before the Procedure
You need to inform your doctor about the medications and supplements you’re currently taking. You might also need to stop taking specific medications like aspirin, naproxen, ibuprofen, and other supplements. Your doctor may also order you to stop drinking and eating the night before or a couple of hours before the procedure.
During the Procedure
You’ll be given a local or general anesthetic to numb the target site. Once the anesthesia has taken effect, your doctor will make an incision inside a wall in your nose to see inside your nose and lift the mucous membrane covering it. The problematic bone or cartilage causing your symptoms will then be removed, and your septum will be repositioned and straightened. Your doctor will then put the mucous membrane cover back and hold it in place through stitches, packing material (usually cotton), and splints. The entire process will be finished in an hour and a half or less. In some instances, septoplasty may be performed alongside other surgeries like polyp or tumor removal, nasal surgery, and even plastic surgery procedures like rhinoplasty.
After the Procedure
Following your septoplasty procedure, your doctor will pack your nose with cotton or similar material to prevent bleeding. Expect to feel pain, mild nasal drainage, and stuffiness the first few days after your surgery. You may also need to take pain medications as you recover. Likewise, you have to avoid blowing your nose a couple of weeks following the procedure and elevate your head when lying down or sleeping. Make sure to refrain from doing strenuous physical activities like lifting weights, aerobics, and running until you get clearance from your doctor.
It is highly important to follow all your doctor’s post-op instructions so that you’ll heal as fast as possible and avoid potential complications. Do a thorough research before the operation and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor.