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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jan 5, 2023.

What do I need to know about septoplasty?

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.

How do I prepare for surgery?

Your healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare for surgery. He or she may tell you not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of your surgery. He or she will tell you what medicines to take or not take on the day of your surgery. You will need someone to drive you home after surgery.

What will happen during surgery?

You may have general anesthesia and be asleep during surgery. You may have local anesthesia and be sedated but awake during surgery. Your surgeon will cut and reattach your septum to straighten it. Swollen tissues may also be trimmed or partially removed. You may have stitches that dissolve or staples that absorb to hold your septum in place. You may have gauze or a soft splint inside your nose to help prevent bleeding.

What will happen after surgery?

You may have pain, fatigue, and nasal stuffiness after surgery. The nasal stuffiness is caused by swelling in your nose, and will decrease in about 1 week. You may also have mild drainage made up of mucus and blood.

What are the risks of surgery?

You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. Blood may build up on your septum, or it may tear. The fluid around your brain may drain from your nose. Your symptoms may not go away. You may have numbness in your nose, upper teeth, or gums. The shape of your nose, your voice, or your sense of taste or smell may change. You may have swelling or bruising around your eye.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. 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.

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Further information

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