After the operation
The front of your nose can sometimes be a bit tender for a few weeks.
Do not blow your nose for about a week, or it might start bleeding. If you are going to sneeze, sneeze with your mouth open to protect your nose. You may get some blood-coloured watery fluid from your nose for the first two weeks or so - this is normal.
Your nose will be blocked both sides like a heavy cold for 10-14 days after the operation. We may give you some drops or spray to help this.
It may take up to three months for your nose to settle down and for your breathing to be clear again. Try to stay away from dusty or smoky places.
There will be some stitches inside your nose - these will dissolve and usually fall out by themselves.
How long will I be off work?
You can expect to go home the day after your operation. Sometimes it is possible to go home the same day. You will need to rest at home for at least a week. If you do heavy lifting and carrying at work, you should take two weeks off. You should not play sports where there is a risk of your nose being knocked for about a month.
Ask your nurse if you need a sick note for your time in hospital.
Septal surgery is safe, but there are some risks. Sometimes your nose can bleed after this operation, and we may have to put packs into your nose to stop it. This can happen within the first 6 - 8 hours after surgery or up to 5 - 10 days after surgery. Rarely you may need to return to the operating theatre with another general anaesthetic to stop the bleeding.
Infection in your nose is rare after this operation but if it happens it can be serious, so you should see a doctor if your nose is getting more and more blocked and sore.
Rarely, the operation may leave you with a hole in your septum inside the nose going from one side of your nose to the other. This can cause a whistling noise when you breathe, crusting with blockage or nosebleeds. Most of the time it causes no problems at all and needs no treatment. Further surgery can be carried out if necessary to repair a hole in the septum.
Very rarely you may find that the shape of your nose has changed slightly, with a dip in the bridge of your nose. Most people do not notice any change, but if you are not happy with it, it can be fixed with surgery.
Very rarely, you can have some numbness of your teeth, which usually settles with time.
Is there any alternative treatment?
Only an operation can fix a bent septum, but a nose spray or drops can help treat swelling in the nose which might be making your nose feel blocked.
If septal deformity is the cause of your nasal blockage there is no treatment other than surgery to correct the shape of the septum.
Source ENT UK
To access the original patient information leaflet on Septal Surgery, visit the ENT UK website where you will find a wealth of information on conditions and procedures relating to ENT.