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Recovery Tracker

Get Well Soon

Helping you to make a speedy recovery after nasal septoplasty


Days/Weeks Post Op How you might feel Things you can do safely Fit to work?

1 - 2 days

Your nose will feel sore, and much more stuffy than it did before the operation. Once the dressings are removed from your nose, you may still need to breathe through your mouth for a week or so. There may be some dark, bloodstained mucus discharge from your nose. This is normal and you shouldn’t worry about it.

  • Get up, get dressed, move around the house.
  • Eat and drink as normal.
  • Go for a short walk in the morning – no more than 5–10 minutes – then go home and rest.
  • Go for another short walk or two later in the day, resting between each one, this will help to avoid stiffness of the muscles and joints.
  • If you feel tired, rest for a while, then try moving around again later. Taking regular sips of water will prevent dry-mouth and throat.
  • Take pain relief only as prescribed by your doctor.


3 - 7 days

  • For about a week, your nose will still feel more stuffy than before the operation.
  • Be careful not to blow your nose too hard, as this can cause bleeding. Sneeze with your mouth open.
  • Dryness and crusting in the nose; some bloodstained mucus from the nose.
  • Avoid hard physical exercise, as this may cause a nosebleed.
  • If you have plastic splints in your nose, these will be taken out by a nurse or your surgeon after about 7 days.


  • Continue as days 1–2; have a go at some of the things you would normally do.
  • Go for a longer walk in the morning – 20–30 minutes – then go home and rest. Go for another walk or two later in the day, resting between each one. Again, this will help to avoid stiffness of the muscles and joints.
  • You may still occasionally need to take mild pain relief at this time.
  •  Try to avoid crowds and people with colds.

Not just yet

7 - 10

In the second week, you should notice an improvement in your breathing, as well as less pain in your nose. There will still be some crusting and dryness in your nose. Do not blow your nose too hard.

You should be back to your normal daily activities now; you should be able to walk as much as you like, start cycling and do gentle jogging. Don’t over-exert yourself physically: it’s important to avoid nose-bleeds.

Many people will be back to work after 7 days. You can monitor your progress using the recovery diary.

Getting there/yes

10 - 14 days

By day 14, your breathing might still be a bit restricted.

You should now be able to do most of your normal routine.  Swimming is allowed.


3 - 4 weeks


Your nose should be starting to clear by now; however, it can take 4–6 weeks after the operation for your nose to settle completely.

Most people who have had the operation will be back at work by now, unless there are special circumstances – complications, for example, or their job demands a lot of physical exertion, control and restraint, and heavy manual work. If you’re still off work, it’s possible that you’re feeling anxious about returning and could do with a bit of help from your GP and your employer. Talk with them both about a gradual return to work.

If you’re off for too long, there’s a risk of developing problems to do with anxiety, isolation and lack of confidence. These could affect your quality of life in the long term. Talk with your doctor about how best to avoid this becoming a problem for you.


6 weeks

You should be able to return to normal sports now, but follow the advice from your surgeon before resuming sports like rugby and martial arts.




When can I have sex?

For many people, being able to have sex again is an important milestone in their recovery. There are no set rules or times about when it’s safe to do so other than whether it feels OK to you – treat it like any other physical activity and build up gradually.


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