Septoplasty is a surgical procedure offered by Dr. Rubinstein to correct a deviated nasal septum, which is the displacement of the bone and cartilage that divides the two nostrils. During this surgery, the nasal septum is straightened and repositioned in the middle of your nose. To accomplish this, it may require Dr. Rubinstein to cut and remove parts of the septum before reinserting them into the proper position.
When it comes time to planning a septoplasty, Dr. Rubinstein considers your symptoms, which includes breathing difficulties, and the structure and unique features of your nose. During your initial consultation with Dr. Rubinstein, he can go into greater detail about what septoplasty can achieve for you.
Some form of a deviated septum is not uncommon. One of the most common symptoms is it can block one side of the nose reducing airflow. When this occurs, it causes difficulty breathing through one or both sides of the mouth. If you experience difficulty breathing that affects your quality of life, you should consider this procedure to correct it. Crusting or bleeding may also occur as a result of the additional exposure of a deviated septum to the drying to the drying effect of airflow that occurs through the nose. A septoplasty corrects these issues by straightening the nasal septum by repositioning, trimming and replacing bone, cartilage or both.
I saw Dr. Rubinstein for repair of my deviated septum on march 10th. I found out about him through my insurance company. I found his expertise, work ethic, explanations, and the fact that he didn’t go right into the surgery to be wonderful. The nurses and staff at his office are wonderful. I had a very good experience. My recovery, following their steps, was fantastic. I have already recommended Dr. Rubinstein to someone else.
As with any surgery, this procedure does carry some risks. These risks include:
- Bleeding or excessive bleeding
- Adverse reaction to anesthesia
- Continuation of original symptoms such as nasal obstruction
- The shape of your nose changing
- A decrease in smell
- Temporary numbing sensation in the teeth or gums
- Blood collecting in the nasal space that would need to be medically drained
- An opening in the septum
Preparing for Septoplasty
Prior to a procedure you must avoid certain medications containing aspirin or ibuprofen for two weeks before and two week after surgery. These medications have the ability to increase bleeding. Also, if you smoke, you should stop as smoking slows the healing process. You should also have a family member or friend drive you home and stay with you the first night as you may experience lapses in memory, delayed judgment, or slow reaction time.
What to Expect
Dr. Rubinstein will discuss with you if local or general anesthesia is needed for your septoplasty. Dr. Rubinstein rarely uses packing (tampons placed by many surgeons in the nose after surgery to prevent bleeding) by using gentle techniques minimizing bleeding including endoscopic septoplasty. To help decrease chances of bleeding and swelling, Dr. Rubinstein may ask you to do the following things in the days following your surgery:
- Avoid strenuous activities for 6 weeks but normal activities can be resumed after 2 weeks.
- Avoid nose blowing for one week.
- Elevate your head while sleeping
- Don’t pull clothing over your head (wear clothes that fasten in the front)
Results from a septoplasty are most often stable; however, tissue and cartilage may gradually reshape or move over time. You should feel maximal breathing relief within 6 weeks and can resume aerobic activity by two weeks and strenuous activity after 6 weeks. By three to six months following the surgery, the nasal tissues become relatively stable. It is important to understand that changes may still occur up to a year or longer following the procedure. Most patients report improved symptoms as they find it easier to breathe. There are some patients who find their symptoms continuing to persist and may opt to undergo a revision septoplasty to further refine the septum and nose.