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How Long Does A Septoplasty Take

by Lyndon Langley
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How Long Does A Septoplasty Take

How Long Does A Septoplasty Take

A septoplasty is an outpatient surgical procedure that can correct certain deformities of your nasal passageways. The surgeon will make a small incision at the end of each nostril and remove some cartilage from inside your nose. This creates room for new tissue that’s shaped like a pyramid, which allows air to flow better through the nose. Sometimes, people who have had a septoplasty also need liposuction (sucking out fat) on their cheeks because they’ve been overeating. And sometimes doctors perform other procedures such as rhinoplasties — plastic surgeries designed to change the appearance of your nose.
You’ll probably be able to go home after a successful septoplasty right away, but you should take it easy afterward. You won’t be allowed to drive or operate machinery until after the day of surgery. If possible, avoid strenuous activity for about 48 hours. Your recovery time depends largely on how well your body heals — if you have complications such as bleeding, infection or deformation, the process could get more complicated. In fact, there are several different types of septoplasty, so it’s important to understand what exactly happens during this type of surgery before scheduling yours.
Septoplasty Procedure
During a typical septoplasty, the surgeon makes a tiny cut just under the tip of the columella, or the fleshy part of your upper lip. He then removes any excess fatty material with a special tool called a blunt dissection instrument. Next, the surgeon cuts a piece of cartilage from the underside of your septal bone, the hard triangular structure on either side of your nose base. This gives him enough material to reshape the lower portion of the septum into a flat surface, creating room for the middle section of the nose. Because the septum provides support for the internal lining of the nose, the cartilage must come from somewhere else. Doctors usually use the earlobe or ribcage since these areas don’t contain any sensitive tissues.
After removing the necessary amount of cartilage, the surgeon cuts off any extra material left over from his work. Then he opens up the skin behind the nose using a scalpel. When he reaches the bottom layer of skin, he cuts down further to create a flap that fits over the newly created space. Once the flap has been removed, the surgeon uses scissors to trim the remaining skin around the edges of the wound. Finally, he closes the hole with sutures. For added protection against infections, he may also pack the area with gauze pads or antibiotic ointment.
Most patients experience little pain during the actual surgery, but some do feel discomfort when breathing through their noses later. They might also notice mild bruising or swelling around their eyes, nose or mouth. Some women find that pregnancy hormones cause facial changes that mimic those associated with aging, making them look older than their years. However, many people say that cosmetic procedures help improve their overall appearance.
Now let’s talk about the results of a septoplasty.
What Are the Results of a Septoplasty?
If you’re considering having this surgery, you should know that most people see positive results within a few days. During your first visit, your doctor will give you instructions on how best to care for yourself following surgery. Most people resume normal activities after a few days, although some people may want to wait longer due to post-surgery bruising or swelling. Remember, however, that you shouldn’t drive or engage in heavy exercise for at least 48 hours after the surgery. Your doctor will instruct you whether you can return to work immediately after surgery.
As with all surgical procedures, there’s a risk of infection. Although rare, it does happen. To reduce the chance of infection, make sure to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully and keep your surroundings clean. Also, don’t share any personal items such as razors or towels with anyone else. Ask someone to bring you anything you need while you’re recovering, including food, drinks, medications and even company.
Once you’re back on your feet, you should begin noticing improvements in your nasal function almost immediately. As long as you maintain good health habits afterward, you should continue to enjoy these benefits for the rest of your life.
For more information on septoplasty and related topics, check out the links on the next page.
People often confuse septal deviation with another condition known as saddle obstruction. Both conditions result from the same basic problem, but only one requires surgery. Saddle obstruction occurs when the septum doesn’t open wide enough to allow airflow properly. It can affect both sides of the nose equally or it can occur primarily on one side. People with saddle obstruction typically suffer from chronic sinus problems and allergies. Surgical correction is not usually needed, though it can provide relief from symptoms.

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