Septal surgery is the best bet for people who want to correct a deviated septum, which is typically caused by either an injury, or genetics. Unlike nasal spray or irrigation, septoplasty is a permanent fix, enabling patients who have struggled for years with asymmetric breathing to get the relief they need.
Preparing for a septoplasty begins with a solid diagnosis, which is usually determined on the basis of a physical exam, and possibly a CT scan. (We perform these in our offices in Century City – no need for a secondary location or consult.) Because the procedure is performed under general anesthesia, the usual protocols apply: no food or drink for at least twelve hours prior to your septoplasty procedure.
The procedure is performed through a tiny incision in the nostril. The mucosa are gently lifted away to allow your sinus surgeon to visualize and inspect the underlying cartilage, offering a full and unbroken view of the affected region. Once the cartilage and bone are reshaped and centered as they should be, the mucosa are returned and small stitches are applied. The whole operation is fairly fast, taking place in less than an hour.
After your septoplasty procedure, you will spend a couple of weeks with gradually improving symptoms. You may see some red discharge or mucus during this time, and you may experience some lingering soreness, but generally the pain will be manageable, especially with OTC medications. You’ll want to avoid blowing your nose during this time, and will also be advised to sneeze with your mouth open when necessary, reducing airflow through the nostrils.
A First Person Account
3. Practice breathing out of your mouth for a day prior to the surgery. If they pack your nose, you WILL have to spend at least 24 hours breathing exclusively out of your mouth. This is a pain in the ass for many reasons, but for those of us with anxiety issues, it can really disrupt what feels like the natural flow of breathing.
I kept hyperventilating when my nose was packed, which further revved up my nervous system, and led to a very high anxiety level. If you can learn to mouth breathe slowly and calmly before your procedure, you will be better prepared than I was.
Septoplasty isn’t necessary for every case of deviated septum, but it can be a godsend for people who truly struggle with the difficult symptoms of this common condition. To learn more and schedule a consultation with Dr. Zadeh, contact us here.