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What to expect after the operation

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Helping you to make a speedy recovery after nasal septoplasty

What to expect after the operation


There will be no visible scarring because there are no external cuts involved in this surgery. The incision (cut) is made inside the nose.


Sometimes, stitches are used on the skin inside the nostril. These usually dissolve by themselves and so do not need removing.


Usually an absorbent dressing, like a small sponge, may be packed inside your nostrils to control any bleeding. If so, this will be removed by a nurse within 24 hours of your operation. Some patients, uncommonly, may also need splints to keep the nasal cartilage straight - these are thin plastic sheets stitched to the inside of the nostril. If splints are used, these will be removed for you about 1 week after the operation, usually in the outpatient clinic.


If you have a dressing, your nose will be totally blocked, so you will have to breathe through your mouth until the dressings are removed. Because of mouth-breathing, your throat will feel dry – regular sips of water will sort this out.

After the dressing is removed, your nose will continue to feel blocked as the linings of your nose will be swollen. For the first 2 weeks, sneeze with your mouth open, and do not blow your nose hard. As your nose heals, dryness and crusting in the nose are normal. Often, you will be recommended to use a salt-water rinse to help with this; alternatively, steam inhalations can be recommended, as these are very soothing.


Your body is using energy to heal itself, so you may feel more tired than normal – this is perfectly normal.


If you play rugby or do martial arts, you should discuss returning to these activities with your surgeon before the operation.

Pain relief

Many people do not need any significant pain relief, but if you do, painkillers may cause constipation, so it’s important to get plenty of fibre in your diet. Fresh vegetables will help to keep your bowels moving regularly.

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