Septal & Turbinate Surgery
Septoplasty (straightening the nasal septum) is often performed as part of sinus surgery to improve access to the sinuses and improve the nasal airway. Inferior turbinate reduction is often combined with sinus surgery to treat nasal blockage.
Sometimes RHINOPLASTY, a procedure that improves the function and external cosmetic appearance of the nose may be required as well. The procedure is usually done internally, but occasionally an “open” approach is required. This involves the use of a 5mm incision on the undersurface of the nose.
Your surgeon will let you know if you can be discharged on the same day after surgery or whether you will need to remain in hospital overnight. In either event you will need to ensure you have someone to pick you up from the hospital.
- Your nose will feel blocked and stuffy after surgery, as if you have a cold or a flu.
- You will get some blood and mucus from the nose, particularly over the first few days. Tape a piece of gauze under the nose with tape (paper tape such as Micropore is best) if needed rather than constantly wiping the nose
- Your ears may pop or bubble when you swallow. You may have splints and / or spacers in the nose, which are soft silicone dressings and are removed in the rooms after approximately a week
- You may be prescribed antibiotics, prednisolone and / or nasal medications depending on the nature and severity of the sinus disease. Cold and Flu tablets may also be recommended.
- Take pain relief as required. Your surgeon will advise you on which pain medication to take.
- Avoid aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines such as Nurofen as they can make bleeding worse.
You will be provided with a FLO Sinus Care or FLO CRS or FLO Post Operative kit to wash the nose. Nasal and sinus washing is essential after surgery to clear blood clot and mucus from the sinuses and nose. If a blood clot is left in the sinus cavity, it can promote scarring, which can cause a poor surgical result.
The wash will start the day after surgery, and will be used at least 4 times daily until review which takes place 1 week after surgery.
Nasal washing is usually continued for a minimum of 6-8 weeks after the operation as it can take this long for the normal mucus clearance mechanisms to start functioning properly. In some cases, especially with nasal polyps, medications may be added to the douche, and this may need to continue long term.
Recommendations for the first 2 weeks after surgery
- Elevate the head of your bed to 30 degrees
- Avoid hot and spicy foods/drink
- Avoid hot showers/baths
- Avoid bending over
- Sneeze only with the mouth open
- Avoid vigorous blowing of the nose – this should be done very gently
- Avoid exercise other than gentle walking
Failure of the surgery
Depending on the nature of the disease which causes the problem in the first place, the underlying disease process may continue resulting in recurrence of symptoms. Usually this can be managed with medications but at times further surgery is necessary.
Overall, 85% of people having this surgery are satisfied with the outcomes.