A septoplasty, refers to correction and surgery to the septum of your nose, which you cannot see on the inside of your nose. Commonly a septoplasty can be done at the same time as a rhinoplasty to help improve the breathing difficulties as well as improve the cosmetic outcome of the nose. However, severe breathing difficulties through the nose should be first assessed by an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) surgeon prior to obtaining a rhinoplasty.
The decision to have plastic surgery is extremely personal, and you’ll have to decide if the benefits of the surgery outweigh the risks and potential complications of surgery.
You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure and any risks. It is important that you address all your questions directly with your surgeon.
Rhinoplasty surgery is typically done under a general anesthetic. It can be done using a closed approach, where the incisions are hidden inside the nose, or an open procedure, where an incision is made across the columella, the narrow strip of tissue that separates the nostrils. Through these incisions, the skin that covers the nasal bones and cartilages is gently raised, allowing access to reshape the structure of the nose. If the intent of the rhinoplasty is to reshape the nose this is done by removing bone or cartilage from the septum (the partition in the middle of the nose). If the intent of the rhinoplasty is to correct breathing difficulties, this is done by straightening the deviated septum. Usually black non-dissolvable stitches will be used to close your surgical incisions. Sometimes dissolvable stitches are used as well, and your surgeon will make this decision during your surgery.
During the surgery, a splint will be placed on top of your nose. The splint is meant to support and protect your nose during initial healing. The splint and stitches will be removed at your first follow up in 5-7 days. Sometimes packing will be placed inside your nose during the surgery for additional support of your nose during the initial healing. You will remove the packing yourself, in 1-2 days at home.
Following general anesthesia or intravenous sedation, it will take 24 to 36 hours for the full effects of the drugs to wear off. You must be accompanied by a responsible adult, who may either drive you home or take a taxi with you. You may feel a little sleepy or nauseous when you get home, you should quietly rest at home for the remainder of the day.
A few black stitches may be present along the base of your nose if you had an open rhinoplasty. Your stitches will be exposed to air, please try your best to limit contact with the incisions to only icing and cleaning. If you are experiencing bleeding or dried blood in the area, you can use a clean Q-tip with warm water to gently clean this. Please apply a little bit of polysporin 3-4 times a day over the incision/sutures with a clean Q-tip until your suture removal appointment. Please ensure you wipe away the old polysporin with a warm wet Q-tip before reapplying new polysporin.
You will leave the splint on until your first appointment at the office. The splint and stitches will be taken off in 5-7 days. After your dressings have been removed, you will be able to shower as normal, you are able to use soap and water on the incisions. Please do not bathe or soak your incisions until all incisions have completely healed. You will be provided with a silicone ointment after your surgical incision has healed to improve the appearance of the scar.
Swelling and bruising is very common after surgery but should disappear within 3-6 weeks. It is also common for your face and nose to feel full after surgery which should decrease after a few weeks. Most patients are able to get up and walk around briefly right after surgery, however, it is recommended that you do sleep with your head propped up on a few pillows for the first week. Most patients are able to walk on a treadmill in about a month, and play tennis in about three months. Most patients who have sedentary jobs take about two weeks off work. If your job involves a lot of physical activity be sure to speak with your surgeon during your consultation with regards to how much time off you will need for your specific daily tasks. There should be no heavy lifting for 3 months following surgery. Most patients are comfortable driving in about two week's time.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to give us a call at (403) 800-9157 and leave a message as necessary. If you are unable to reach us, and need medical advice please call 811 to speak to a nurse, the line is free of charge and available 24 hours a day. If it is a medical emergency please call 911 or go to your nearest hospital, or call the Peter Lougheed Centre Switchboard at (403) 943-4555 and ask to speak to the plastic surgeon on-call.
The recovery process can be long and you should be prepared for it to take up to a year for your new nasal contour to fully define itself. During this time though you will notice gradual changes as your nose settles. Some patients have very obvious swelling and bruising in the first month. We advise that you are able to comfortably take time off work and social activities in order to have peace of mind.
A good candidate for surgery is a patient who is relatively healthy and has realistic expectations for post-operative outcomes. It is also strongly advised that you be a non-smoker at the time of surgery. If you are a smoker we recommend you quit smoking at least 3 months prior to surgery as nicotine can interfere with blood supply and potentially cause complications with healing after surgery.