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Septoplasty – Turbinectomy

This is surgery to improve the nasal airways by correcting mechanical obstruction to the passage of air up to the nostril.

The surgery is performed under a general anaesthetic and may require the patient to remain in hospital overnight after surgery. The nostrils will be packed overnight to control bleeding. The packs are usually dissolvable so will not need to be removed.

What to expect after the operation

  1. 1st week
    • Mucoid discharge, at times blood stained.
    • The nose is quite blocked for this period.
    • Blowing of the nose is not advised.
    • The tip of the nose can be tender, but it is more discomfort than pain.
  2. 2nd week
    • Discharge dries up, some crusting can form.
    • The airways slowly clear.
    • There may be a smell in the nose at this time.
  3. 3rd week - 8th week
    • Airways continue to clear steadily and progressively.

Potential problems

  1. Bleeding
    Often there is minor bleeding or blood stained mucous during the first week. Very occasionally the nose can need re-packing.
  2. Septal Haematoma
    Occasionally blood can accumulate beneath the flaps on the cartilage and may need draining.
  3. Infection
    Post-operative infections are uncommon. Occasionally an undrained septal haematoma can get infected.
  4. Perforation
    Approximately 1% of septoplasties develop a perforation (small hole deep inside the nose) post operatively. The vast majority of these is
    completely asymptomatic, but some cause whistling and crusting.
  5. Recurrence of Obstruction
    Very occasionally scar tissue that develops post-operatively can cause recurrence of symptoms.

*See discharge advice after nasal and sinus surgery

If you have any concerns after discharge, please call our rooms in 9388 747.


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