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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Septoplasty is surgery to repair or straighten your nasal septum. The nasal septum is the cartilage and bone that forms a wall to separate your nostrils. Septoplasty may relieve symptoms such as dry mouth and trouble breathing or sleeping. Septoplasty is most commonly done in adults, but may also be done in children.
Seek care immediately if:
- You have trouble breathing.
- Clear fluid comes out of your nose when you bend your head forward.
- Your heart is beating fast or has an irregular rhythm.
- Your nose or the roof of your mouth is pale or starting to turn black.
- You have severe pain.
- You have red streaks on the skin around your nose.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- Your symptoms do not improve within 1 week.
- Your nose bleeds more than you were told to expect.
- You have a fever.
- Your nose is red, swollen, and draining pus.
- Your upper teeth, gum, or nose is numb.
- Your sense of smell or taste is different than before surgery.
- You have a change in your vision.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
- Medicines may be given to help decrease pain and prevent infection. You may also need nose sprays to keep your nose moist and decrease swelling and congestion.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Do not blow your nose:
The increase in pressure can cause bruising, swelling, and bleeding. Try not to sneeze. If you have to sneeze, keep your mouth open to decrease pressure in your nose.
Apply ice on your nose for 15 to 20 minutes every hour for the first day. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel. Ice helps prevent tissue damage and decreases swelling and pain.
Elevate your head and upper back:
Keep your head and upper back elevated when you rest, such as in a recliner. Place extra pillows under your head and neck when you sleep in bed. Elevation will help decrease swelling.
- Use a cool mist humidifier. A cool mist humidifier will increase air moisture in your home. This will help keep your nose and throat moist and prevent irritation.
- Limit activity for 3 days or as directed. Do not lift objects over 20 pounds. Ask when you can return to your usual daily activities.
- Care for your wound as directed. You may be able to use saltwater or hydrogen peroxide to remove crusts. If you have a splint, do not get it wet or try to remove it.
- Do not smoke for at least 2 days after your surgery. Smoke can irritate your nose and delay healing. Nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes and cigars can also cause lung damage. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you currently smoke and need help to quit. E-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco still contain nicotine. Talk to your healthcare provider before you use these products.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
You may need to return to have your gauze or splint removed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.