Whether you’re having difficulties breathing through your nose or suffering from chronic sinus infections, a septoplasty may be the surgical solution to correct your nasal concerns. As a qualified and renowned ENT surgeon, Dr Shahidi can perform this procedure in conjunction with other techniques to achieve the desired long-term results.
What is septoplasty?
Septoplasty is a procedure that aims to open up blocked nasal passages and help correct a deviated or bent septum. The septum is the wall of cartilage that separates the nasal passage to regulate airflow and support the mucosa membranes inside the interior wall of the nose.
Whether you’re born with a deviated septum, or it has bent due to injury, it can cause multiple issues, including breathing troubles, in some cases snoring and chronic sinus infections.
How do I know if I need a septoplasty?
Several signs and symptoms may indicate a deviated septum and the need for medical intervention. These include:
- Difficulty breathing through your nose — If you have trouble breathing through one or both sides of your nose, this could be due to a deviated septum that needs realignment.
- Chronic nasal congestion — If you experience persistent stuffiness or congestion that doesn’t improve with regular medical intervention, you may be a candidate for septoplasty.
- Recurrent sinus infections — A deviated septum commonly causes drainage issues that may lead to frequent sinus infections.
If you are experiencing any of the above, make an appointment with Dr Shahidi for an evaluation to determine whether a deviated septum is causing your symptoms and if a septoplasty will correct your concerns.
Dr Shahidi will perform a nasal examination that includes a nasal endoscopy to identify the problem. If sinusitis is suspected, Dr Shahidi will ask for a CT scan to help with the overall diagnosis. Nasal septoplasty may be performed with other surgical procedures, such as endoscopic sinus surgery, rhinoplasty or turbinectomy.
Unpacking the septoplasty procedure
Once you have undergone your initial consultation and your surgeon recommended septoplasty, this procedure is performed under general anaesthesia. It may be done either as a day surgery procedure or with an overnight hospital stay.
The procedure takes approximately one to two hours. However, the timeframe will vary depending on the severity of the bend or deviated septum — your doctor will give you a rough estimate of the time it will take to complete the procedure during your initial consultation.
The procedure in most instances, occurs entirely inside the nose, with incisions performed in one of the two nostrils, meaning you won’t have to contend with a visible scar. Your surgeon will create tiny incisions while lifting the mucosa, allowing them to reshape the septum’s bone and cartilage. There are times when a surgeon may remove parts of the bone and cartilage to reshape your underlying structure before repositioning the mucosa back over the septum.
Dissolving stitches are used, and your surgeon may insert a splint or soft packing to hold the nasal tissue in place to prevent bleeds or the formation of scar tissue.
Caring for your nose post-septoplasty
Following your procedure, your doctor’s medical team will closely monitor you as your anaesthesia wears off. While initial healing for septoplasty takes around one week, your surgeon will provide detailed post-operative guidelines you should follow closely. Here are some general instructions to help you recover comfortably:
Avoid touching your surgical dressings
Your surgeon will most likely place a gauze under your nose after septoplasty. You should leave this in place until the drainage stops and switch out the gauze as and when recommended by your surgeon.
Additionally, your surgeon may place soft splints or packing inside the nostril. While packing dissolves naturally, if it’s still present at your follow-up visit, allow your doctor to take care of it. If the packing falls out when you sneeze, there’s no need to replace it.
While you can resume light activities one-week post-op, avoid strenuous workouts for at least a month — this includes going to the gym, swimming, lifting weights or participating in contact sports.
Keep your head elevated
Whether you’re sleeping or watching TV, keeping your head elevated can prevent swelling and promote healing.
Avoid blowing your nose for at least a month after your septoplasty, as it can cause bleeding and disrupt the healing process. Gently wipe away any drainage or discharge with a tissue.
Use a nasal saline spray
If your doctor recommends using a nasal spray to keep the passages moist to aid healing, follow this instruction and use the spray as directed.
A post-op advice sheet is given to patients, and pain may generally be controlled with analgesics. A follow-up visit will be arranged within seven to 10 days post-surgery, with a final check-up after six months. Overall, the bone and cartilage healing will continue for several months to a year.
Book a consultation with Dr Shahidi today
Whether you’re having trouble breathing, dealing with heavy, uncontrollable nose bleeds or chronic sinusitis, septoplasty may be the procedure Dr Shahidi recommends to correct a deviated or bent septum.
Dr Shahidi is an Australian-trained and qualified ear, nose and throat surgeon with particular experience in septoplasty, rhinoplasties and other nasal and sinus treatments. Having received one of the highest qualifications awarded to a select few surgeons, you can be assured that he will approach the procedure with due consideration for your health and comfort.
Book your initial septoplasty consultation online today, or get in touch with our medical team to learn more.