Septoplasty is surgery to straighten the wall that divides the nostrils inside the nose (septum). The structures that stick out from the side wall of the nose (turbinates) may also be trimmed (reduced) to help you breathe easier. Most patients go home the same day as the surgery (outpatient).


  • Allergies to food or medicine.

  • Medicines taken, including vitamins, herbs, eyedrops, over-the-counter medicines, and creams.

  • Use of steroids (by mouth or creams).

  • Previous problems with anesthetics or numbing medicines.

  • History of bleeding problems or blood clots.

  • Previous surgery.

  • Other health problems, including diabetes and kidney problems.

  • Possibility of pregnancy, if this applies.


  • Allergic reaction to the medicines used during surgery.

  • Bleeding.

  • Infection.

  • Loss of feeling in the top lip due to nerve damage. This may be temporary or permanent.

  • Scar tissue (adhesions) inside the nose. This may require further surgery.

  • A hole (perforation) in the septum.

  • Return of nasal blockage after surgery. This may require another surgery.

  • Impaired or lost sense of taste. This may be temporary or permanent.

  • Increased snoring or sleep disturbances.

  • Changes in the appearance of the nose (rare).


  • Do not eat or drink anything after midnight on the night before your procedure, or as directed by your caregiver.

  • Ask your caregiver about changing or stopping your regular medicines.


You will be given medicine to numb the area (local anesthetic) or medicine to make you sleep (general anesthetic). The surgeon will reshape the cartilage and bone in the septum. In some cases, part of the cartilage or bone may need to be removed. The turbinates may also be reduced. This is often done by removing part of the material inside the turbinates. As the turbinates heal, they will shrink. Nasal splints may also be placed in the nose to help with healing.


  • You will be taken to a recovery area. A nurse will watch and check your progress.

  • When you are awake, feeling well, and taking fluids well, you may be allowed to go home.

  • For the first week after surgery, you may have a mild headache, stuffy nose, full sensation in the ears, or bloody fluid coming from the nose.