The nose is partitioned in the middle by the Nasal Septum, which is made out of cartilage. Sometimes, due to injury or simply because it has grown that way, the septum may be bent or deviated to one (or both) sides, causing blockage by reducing the area available for air to flow through. The operation of Septoplasty is used to correct this abnormality.
In essence, a Septoplasty straightens a bent / deviated nasal septum and corrects it, as far as possible, back to the midline. The procedure is done internally, through the nostrils, without the need for external incisions. Septoplasty may be combined with other nasal operations aimed at other aspects of nasal structure.
There are no black eyes after the surgery and the outward shape of the nose is unaltered, except at the base (ie the columella) where the shape of the nostrils may change once the twisted edge of the nasal septum has been corrected. Occasionally, the edge of the cartilage at the columella cannot be altered as it supplies crucial support for the nasal tip. This surgery is carried out under general anaesthesia and takes about 30-60 minutes, depending on how difficult the case is, (i.e. how badly bent the septum is).
Septoplasty is a common procedure and is not very painful.
After the Surgery
You may awake with some packing in your nose to stop any bleeding. If present, this should be left alone and will be removed by your nurse when appropriate. You will be nursed with the head of the bed slightly elevated and it is probable that you will have to breathe through your mouth.
You will be conscious but quite drowsy on your return to your room. Relatives are of course welcome. You may eat and drink anything you wish. You may be able to go home the same day, as long as there is a capable, responsible person at home to look after you. If the surgery was extensive, there is a slight risk you may have to stay in hospital overnight to ensure there is no trouble with bleeding.
Your nurse will arrange your discharge medications.