SURGERY FOR NASAL BLOCKAGE
Septoplasty, turbinate reduction surgery and nasal polypectomy
A septoplasty is an operation to correct a deviated nasal septum. The aim is to improve the nasal airway, and reduce symptoms of nasal blockage. A septoplasty is usually carried out under a general anaesthetic, and takes approximately 40 minutes. An incision is made within the nose - there are no external scars. Deviated areas of cartilage are removed, and the nasal septum is repositioned in the midline to ensure a good airway on both sides of the nose. Dissolvable stitches are used to close the incision.
TURBINATE REDUCTION SURGERY
When nasal blockage is caused by swelling of the lining of the nose (the inferior turbinates), surgery to reduce the size of the turbinates improves the nasal airway. A variety of different techniques are used to reduce the turbinates, but all are performed endonasally meaning that there are no external scars. The operation usually takes around 20 minutes and is performed under general anaesthetic.
Nasal polyps which do not improve with medication may require surgery. This is performed under general anaesthetic, and involves the use of telescopes and specially designed instruments to remove the polyps from high up in the nose, and restore the nasal airway. The operation usually takes around 40 minutes.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTERWARDS?
In most cases, nasal surgery is performed as a day case procedure. After the operation the nose can feel slightly sore for a few days, but this is usually controlled with paracetamol. Some blood stained nasal discharge is not uncommon in the first 48 hours after surgery. Saline nasal rinses are usually prescribed for 2 weeks until the post-operative follow up appointment.
Further information on septal surgery and septoplasty from ENT UK is available here.