Nasal septum reconstruction
Nasal septum reconstruction is surgery that straightens the nasal septum. The septum is the central wall that divides the 2 nasal passages in the nose.
Another name for this procedure is nasal septoplasty.
When is it used?
Reasons for doing this procedure are:
- The septum is deviated (bent out of shape) from an injury and it is hard for you to breathe through your nose.
- You have recurring sinus infections or pain due to a deviated nasal septum.
- The septum has a blood clot (hematoma) from an injury that does not allow you to breathe normally.
- You have been having a lot of nosebleeds.
How do I prepare for this procedure?
Plan for your care and recovery after the operation, especially if you are to have general anesthesia. Find someone to drive you home after the procedure. Give yourself time to rest. Try to find people to help you with your day-to-day duties.
Follow your healthcare provider's instructions about not smoking before and after the procedure. Smokers heal more slowly after surgery. They are also more likely to have breathing problems during surgery. For these reasons, if you are a smoker, you should quit at least 2 weeks before the procedure. It is best to quit 6 to 8 weeks before surgery.
If you are taking daily aspirin for a medical condition, ask your provider if you need to stop it before your surgery. If you need a minor pain reliever in the week before surgery, choose acetaminophen rather than aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen. This helps avoid extra bleeding during surgery.
Follow any other instructions your provider may give you. If you are to have general anesthesia, eat a light meal, such as soup or salad, the night before the procedure. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight and during the morning before the procedure. Do not even drink coffee, tea, or water.
What are the risks associated with this procedure?
- There are some risks when you have general anesthesia. Discuss these risks with your healthcare provider.
- A local anesthetic may not numb the area enough and you may feel some minor discomfort. Also, in rare cases, you may have an allergic reaction to the drug used in this type of anesthesia. Local anesthesia is considered safer than general anesthesia.
- You may lose some of the feeling in your upper lip or teeth. Your front teeth may become numb because of stretching of nerves that go from the base of the nose down into the front teeth.
- Rarely, the front part of your nose may be flatter than before.
- You may have infection or bleeding.
- Your septum may develop a hole if it doesnâ€™t heal properly.