Septoplasty is a surgery that is designed to correct the problem of a deviated septum. Ideally, the septum, which is the partition that divides the two nasal cavities, should be completely vertical. When it deviates into one of those nasal cavities, the air flow through that cavity is thus impeded. One of the problems for patients with a deviated septum is that they get a stuffy nose more frequently, and more severely, than they would if their septum was normal. Often, this type of condition is the result of a previously untreated injury, in which the patient’s nose was actually broken, and then healed itself with the deviation. However, it can also occur naturally.
A description of the procedure itself makes it sound a lot more painful than it really is. Remember, if you have to have this type of surgery, you’ll be under anesthesia, so you won’t feel a thing. What’s more, as long as it’s properly managed, the recovery is not a painful process, either. What actually happens during the surgery, in a nutshell, is that the surgeon removes enough of the cartilage in your septum to reopen the affected nasal cavity. Enough cartilage is left behind to preserve the structural integrity of your septum, and your septum is stabilized during your recovery with splints, tubes, or stitches, which are removed after an appropriate length of time. The entire surgery itself takes less than an hour, not counting the time you spend in the recovery room.
Packing inside your nasal cavities for a two week period following your surgery used to be a common technique. Now, it is no longer necessary in most cases. One percent of patients experience excessive bleeding after such a surgery, and for them, packing is still utilized. However, this has no effect on the ultimate surgical result, which the vast majority of patients are extremely happy with.