The thin wall of bone and cartilage that separates your nostrils is called the nasal septum. If the septum is too far off-center, it’s known as a deviated septum. This condition can increase your risk of sinus infections, and it may make it more difficult to breathe through your nose.
If a deviated septum keeps you from breathing freely, nasal surgery can straighten out your septum. As a nasal and sinus specialist, Dr. Conrad McCutcheon performs a range of nasal surgeries, including septoplasty. Here, we cover what you can expect before, during, and after septoplasty.
What to expect before surgery
You may benefit from a septoplasty if a deviated septum is contributing to increased infections or makes it hard to breathe out of your nose. Before undergoing surgery, we clear you for the procedure, meaning we ensure that there are no underlying medical problems that may interfere with your surgery.
You can expect to receive a list of pre-op do’s and don’ts before your surgery. General pre-op instructions include:
- Fasting before your surgery
- Ceasing smoking and alcohol consumption
- Stopping medications that may interfere with anesthesia or recovery
- Avoiding aspirin for 2 weeks before your surgery
- Avoiding any blood-thinning herbal supplements (such as St. John’s Wort)
During your pre-op consultation, we provide you with specific instructions and answer any questions you may have.
What to expect on the day of surgery
Anesthesia is used to keep you comfortable during your surgery. When you come out of anesthesia, it’s normal to feel groggy or a little nauseous. You should plan to arrange for a friend or family member to drive you home after Dr. McCutcheon releases you.
What to expect after surgery
During septoplasty, your cartilage and bone may be trimmed and repositioned. Because of this, you can expect some pain and swelling, but you can help reduce swelling by:
- Keeping your head upright as much as possible (you might even consider sleeping in a comfortable chair or on the couch)
- Using cold compresses or ice packs
In addition to managing swelling, it’s important to allow your nose plenty of time to recover, including:
- Clearing your schedule for a few days after your surgery
- Avoiding strenuous activity and exercise until cleared to exercise again
- Avoiding blowing your nose immediately
Rest assured, Dr. McCutcheon and our team provide you with a detailed list of post-op instructions that covers everything from showering to managing swelling to changing your bandages. Diligently following your post-op care instructions has a big pay-off: You can expect to breathe freely.
Are you considering septoplasty?
The only way to correct a deviated septum is with surgery. If you’re struggling with nasal problems such as difficulty breathing, nosebleeds, or increased sinus infections, give us a call to learn more about septoplasty. Call Memorial Village ENT at 281-822-3777 or request an appointment online.