American Society of Plastic Surgeons
For Medical Professionals


Deviated Septum Correction

A septoplasty is performed to correct a deviated septum, alleviating breathing difficulties and reduced airflow of the nasal airway.

What should I expect during my septoplasty recovery?

Since septoplasty is an outpatient procedure, you will be able to go home the same day of your surgery after the anesthesia has worn off. During your septoplasty recovery, packing may be placed inside your nose to provide support during the healing period.

If a rhinoplasty is performed at the same same time, external bandages or a splint will also be placed on the outside of the nose. The packing can be removed by your physician in the office a day or two after surgery. The splints can be removed by your physician in the office shortly after surgery.

The initial swelling subsides within a few weeks, but it may take a few months for you to expect the full benefits of septoplasty. During the initial healing period, there may be minor pain and difficulty breathing. Your physician will prescribe appropriate pain medication. Over-the-counter pain medication such as aspirin or ibuprofen should be avoided as these drugs may thin the blood. Your physician may also recommend irrigation using saline (salt water) to wash away any crust or surgical debris.

You will be given specific instructions that may include:

  • How to care for your surgical site following surgery.
  • Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection.
  • Specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health.
  • When to follow up with your plastic surgeon.

Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period.

  • What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
  • Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery? When will they be removed?
  • When can I bathe or shower?
  • When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
  • When do I return for follow-up care?

Healing will continue for several weeks as swelling decreases. It is important for your final result to continue to follow your plastic surgeon's instructions and attend follow-up visits as scheduled.


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