Nasal surgery (septoplasty)

What is nasal surgery (septoplasty)?

Septoplasty is a procedure to straighten the nasal septum - the area which separates the nostrils. A deviated nasal septum can obstruct breathing and lead to blockages, causing irritation. The operation is usually performed under general anaesthesia, although it can be performed under local anaesthesia with a sedative. During the septoplasty the deviated tissue on the septum is removed, the cartilage is repositioned and the septum is stitched into place.

When will I recover?

Patients may need to stay overnight, but will usually be discharged the next day. It can take up to three months for your nose to feel completely normal.

What risks should I know about?

The possible complications of any surgery can include an unexpected reaction to a general anaesthetic, excessive bleeding, developing a blood clot (usually in a vein in the lower leg, known as DVT - deep vein thrombosis) and infection. Signs of infection include uncontrolled pain, redness, swelling, oozing from wounds, and fever.

There is also the very small risk that patients may develop a hole in their septum, causing a whistling noise when inhaling and exhaling. In some rare instances a septoplasty may also change the shape of the nose, but this can be corrected with a further operation.