Septoplasty - Discharge Advice

What is a Septoplasty?

A Septoplasty is the repair of the septum (the wall that divides the right and left sides of the nose). If the septum is deviated to one side it makes breathing through the nose difficult.

What you need to know after surgery

Take pain relief as prescribed by your doctor.

Blow your nose gently with your mouth open only for 2 weeks after your operation. A slight blood-stained mucous discharge and nasal blockage is common for 2-3 weeks. It is due to a local reaction with swelling and production of mucous. Sleeping with your head elevated may help. It may take 6 weeks to clear completely.

Your Surgeon may prescribe a saline douche and a Sinus Rinse bottle will be provided before you leave hospital. To make the irrigation use the sample sachets or the following recipe:

  • Mix 500ml of cooled boiled water, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon baking soda (sodium bicarbonate).

  • Fill a syringe with this mixture and irrigate with 10-20ml in each nostril 2-3 times a day.

  • Alternatively you can purchase a Sinus Rinse kit from any pharmacy. This contains a bottle and premixed sachets of salt and baking soda.

If you nose should bleed, apply soft pressure to the soft part of the nose. If bleeding persists contact your surgeon.

There may be dissolvable sutures in your nose. Do not be concerned if these start to come out of your nose. You can trim these at the nostril if required.

If your nose has been splinted inside this will be removed at your first follow-up appointment.

Avoid other strenuous activity also; lifting and straining may cause bleeding.

General Discharge Advice

You will have to arrange for someone to drive you home when you are discharged from hospital.

You must go straight home and rest for the next 24 hours.

You must have a responsible adult with you for the next 24 hours as the full effects of an anaesthetic may not wear off for 24 hours.

From an anaesthetic point of view, please do not:

  • Drive a car as a safety precaution for yourself and other road users; also you may not be covered by insurance during these 24 hours.

  • Operate machinery; this includes some everyday items: eg kitchen appliances, lawnmowers.

  • Sign any legal documents or make important decisions.

  • Drink alcohol for 24 hours following your anaesthetic.

Please observe for any of the following

  • Increased swelling

  • Moderate to heavy bleeding

  • Increased temperature and/or fever

  • Pain and discomfort – not relieved by pain medication

  • Generally feeling unwell

If you have any problems please contact:

  • Your specialist on 09 623 5644 or GP

  • After Hours – 24 Hour Medical Centre

  • Emergency – Your local emergency department or Starship for children

Please ensure you have your discharge summary with you when seeking medical attention.

Wound Care

  • Shower as normal (recommended unless otherwise instructed).

  • Try to keep your head up as much as possible for the next few days. Avoid stooping, straining and bending over as much as possible. Sleep with a few extra pillows for the next few nights to avoid lying too flat.

  • A certain amount of pain and swelling is to be expected after surgery. If necessary, painkillers may be used eg Paracetamol but never increase your regular medications of Aspirin or anything containing Aspirin for pain relief as this can increase the incidence of bleeding. Continue with regular prescribed Aspirin medications eg low dose Aspirin, Cartia.

  • If there is bleeding from the nose, apply pressure to the soft part of you nose. Seek assistance if required:

  • If there is increasing pain or presssure in the nose

  • Your postoperative nasal blockage is increasing as days go by.

  • If there is a bad smell from the nasal cavity.

  • If there is brisk bleeding or it lasts for more than 10 minutes.

  • If you feel generally unwell and/or develop a fever.

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