You will be referred to the ENT service for septal surgery to correct your blocked nose.
What is septal surgery?
The septum is a thin piece of cartilage and bone inside the nose between the right and left sides.
You might need surgery on your septum as it is bent into one or both sides of the nose blocking it.
Your septum might be bent because of an injury to the nose. It might have just grown that way. An operation can be performed to straighten the septum.
Why have septal surgery?
If you have a blocked nose because of the bend in the septum, an operation will help.
Sometimes we need to straighten out a bent septum to give us room to do other things, such as sinus surgery.
The operation is not meant to change the way your nose looks. However, septal surgery might be combined with nose re-shaping (septorhinoplasty) to straighten the nose.
Do I have to have septal surgery?
A bent septum will not do you any harm, so it can be left alone if that is what you want. However, if your septum is causing you complication you may want an operation.
You may change your mind about the operation at any time, and signing a consent form does not mean that you have to have the operation.
During your procedure
How is the operation done?
The operation takes about 30-45 minutes. You might be asleep although some cases can be performed with only your nose anaesthetised.
The operation is usually all done inside your nose – there will be no scars or bruises on your face.
We make a cut inside your nose and straighten out the septum by taking away some of the cartilage and bone and moving the rest of the septum back to the middle of the nose. Then we hold it all in place with some stitches.
Complex cases may require a cut across the skin between the nostrils and may be combined with septorhinoplasty procedures.
Packs and splints
We may need to put a dressing in each side of your nose to keep things in place and prevent bleeding. The dressings are called ‘packs’, and they will block your nose up so that you have to breathe through your mouth.
Sometimes we put small pieces of plastic in your nose to prevent scar tissue from forming. They are called ‘splints’ and we will take them out after about a week.
After your procedure
After the operation
The front of your nose can sometimes be a bit tender for a few weeks.
Do not blow your nose for about a week, or it might start bleeding. If you are going to sneeze, sneeze with your mouth open to protect your nose.
Your nose will be blocked both sides like a heavy cold for 10-14 days after the operation. We may give you some drops or spray to help this.
It may take up to three months for your nose to settle down and for your breathing to be clear again. Try to stay away from dusty or smoky places.
There will be some stitches inside your nose. These will dissolve and usually fall out by themselves.
Is there any alternative treatment?
Only an operation can fix a bent septum, but a nose spray or drops can help treat swelling in the nose which might be making your nose feel blocked.
Surgical treatment is the only way to correct the shape of the septum.