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What is a Septoplasty?
Septoplasty is an operation to straighten the septum of the nose. The septum is the cartilage and bone that divides the nose into its left and right halves. It may become deviated by trauma, has been bent since birth or gradually grew a deviation over time. The most common problem caused by deviated septum is a blocked nose; occasionally it may cause recurrent nose bleeds, sinusitis or be part of the reason why a nose is crooked. A septoplasty may be needed to harvest cartilage for grafts in other parts of your nose.
The operation is usually done in hospital under a general anaesthetic, although it can be performed under local anaesthetic and sedation. When you wake up there will be a soft dressing in the nose - this is not the long ribbon nasal packs of years gone by, which were very uncomfortable. The small nasal dressing can come out in a few hours or be left in until the next morning. Many patients like to go home the night of their surgery, although it is possible to stay in hospital over night.
Septoplasty is not a painful procedure, however the trauma of the surgery causes considerable swelling inside the nose and it will feel very blocked for a number of days. Many patients like to use a nasal decongestant spray (any of the ones that can be bought over the counter at the chemist), especially at night in the first 3 to 4 days.
We advise that you wash your nose out with a salt water spray (like FESS). Some dissolving stitches are used on the inside of the nose and some patients notice little strings dropping out of their nose after about one week. These are the dissolving sutures and are not a problem. The nose is very runny for the first week, this is usually stained brown initially, being old blood and will settle down itself.
What are the risks of Septoplasty?
The more common risks of septoplasty are bleeding or infection. Bleeding is usually not a significant problem and pinching the nose for a few minutes can stop any significant problems. If it does persist, you should return to the hospital or our Subiaco Practice. We prefer patients to take antibiotics for 5 days after septoplasty to minimise the risk of infection. Because septoplasty is working on the thin structure that divides the nose into the left and right half, there is a small risk of forming a perforation through the septum. This may not cause any symptoms, but potentially can cause bleeding and crusting and may even require further treatment if it produces a problem. Rarely septoplasty may cause, unintentionally, changes in the shape of the nose.
NB Please let Dr Oates know if you have a bleeding problem. Do not take any Aspirin, Nurofen or herbal treatments for 2 weeks prior to surgery as they can increase bleeding.
If I'm interested, what now?
You may wish to speak with one of our qualified Dermal Therapists or Nurses prior to seeing Dr Oates. During this free consultation, you can discuss both surgical and non-surgical options to treat your cosmetic concern(s).
CostIf there is an airway problem, history of trauma or severe nasal disfigurement, then Medicare and private health insurance will usually cover some of the costs. If rhinoplasty is done for purely cosmetic reasons the out of pocket expense is greater. Following your consultation with Dr Oates, the office staff at Academy Facial Plastics can provide a quote for you.
Suite 1a, Arcadia Chambers 1 Roydhouse Street Subiaco Western Australia 6008
T (08) 9382 4800 F (08) 9382 4833 E