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Septoplasty Recovery - Time, Tips, How Long?

Quite sure I need a septoplasty surgery but worried about the recovery process. I saw on realself about rhinoplasty recovery, is it similar with septplasty? What do i need to consider about recovering: downtime, medications, pain, etc? thank you so very much for your expert opinions.

Doctor Answers (11)

Recovery following Septorhinoplasty


Patients go home with an external splint or special tape.  The splint is usually removed in 7-10 days. Internal soft silicone splints may be used after septoplasty and remain in place for 1-3 weeks.
Initial discomfort is easily controlled with oral medication and head elevation.
Majority of swelling and bruising subsides progressively over 2-4 weeks.
External sutures (if any) are removed in 4-6 days. Internal sutures dissolve spontaneously.
An early result is evident in 3 months.  Final results become evident in 12-14 months which is the time necessary for complete tissue softening.
Areas of sensitivity or numbness will slowly resolve; the tip of the nose will feel stiff or “woody” and this will improve over the first several months.  Other temporary conditions may include some airway or sinus blockage, nasal drainage, lumps and irregularities.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Septoplasty Recovery


If all of the work is done internally, there is usually a splint inside of your nose that is removed in a week. Recovery is usually more streamlined as there is no external nasal splint.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

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Septoplasty- what to expect


Generally speaking a simple septoplasty is fast and relatively painless. Sometimes they can be complex and involve more extesive cartilage and  bone  work. Either way there you may have a minor ''packing" , a piece of cotton or gauze. This usually comes out in 24-48 hours. Should the septum require silicone plates for stability these are usually removed in a week by your surgeon.Initially you may still feel the air is not moving through your nose because swelling of the soft tissue. This will resolve itself in a couple of weeks. I encourage my patients to use Afrin to decrease swelling and Ocean spray to assist in mosturizing the inside of the nose. Cleaning of the openings of dried blood can be done with a Q-tip and hydrogen peroxide

.In any event, you need to be seen in  person  by a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon to assist you in making a decision as to what is best for you. I hope that this is helpful for you . Jon Sattler, MD Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Glendora, California.



Jon Sattler, MD
Glendora Plastic Surgeon
3.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Septoplasty recovery


I routinely recommend the following: If surgery occurs on a friday you will feel under the weather through the weekend.  By monday you will feel very comfortable with normal activities and answering texts, emails, and phone calls if you choose.  Ideally, take one full week off from work.  At the end of that week the splints (plastic pieces that hold the septal lining back together) are removed.  At this time, resume full work schedule and consider light activity only.  Strenous activity can begin again at 2 weeks.  You will have no bruising or external signs of surgery from just a septoplasty so the recovery is quicker than a rhinoplasty.  It is common to have numbness at the tip of the nose and even the front teeth for a short period of time measured in weeks.

Shepherd G. Pryor, MD
Scottsdale Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

septoplasty recovery and downtime

 The septoplasty procedure involves removal of obstructing cartilage and bone in the back of the nose that is blocking air flow once medical necessity has been documented. The procedure is performed under a brief general anesthetic. There is one small half-inch incision located inside the nose and 2-3  dissolvable stitches are placed inside the nose to close the incision. There is no packing placed inside the nose which makes it much less painful than many years ago. Patients are unable to breathe out of her nose for one week due to the swelling from the surgery. We ask that patients refrain from exercise and strenuous activity for 2 weeks after the procedure to prevent a nosebleed. Most patients take one week off from work. Most patients take a few  medium strength pain pills such as Vicodin or Percocet the first few nights after the procedure to help them get some sleep.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Septoplasty Recovery


Septoplasty is a generic term which means "reshaping of the septum".  The amount of recovery is based on the degree of correction.  In general, I advocate the most conservative approach to correct your nasal obstruction.  

Simple septoplasty may involve a few days of nasal obstruction due to intranasal swelling.  Typically there is no external swelling of the nose.  Patients can often go to work soon after the procedure.  Complex septoplasty may involve opening the nose or reconstruction of the septum and may require a week of recovery.  In these cases, the patient may experience a longer degree of nasal obstruction and more discomfort.


Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Recovery after Septoplasty


Thanks for the great question. As with anything in medicine, patient recovery can be different depending on specific healing characteristics, the degree of damage being repaired, etc. That said, I quote patients in my practice a 7 day recovery. For some it may be even less. When the septum is very deviated, I may place temporary stents inside the nose. These are removed at one week post-op.  After this visit, patients feel much better.

Evan Ransom, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews



Usually, your nose will be "stuft up" for about 10days and you probably will not be able to breathe through it for that long. Pain is usually minimal. You should be able to go back to almost full activity after two to three weeks. 

Edward J. Domanskis, MD
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Recovery form septoplasty


Septoplasty surgery usually does not cause external swelling or bruising. The nose feels congested and may bleed for two days, and pain medicine is necessary for about 3 days. Most surgeons do not use packing, but many use stents inside the nose. Most patients can breath fairly well after two weeks, and majority may return to work after 3 to 5 days. Some patients complain about upper tooth numbness for about two weeks.

Good luck.

Maurice M. Khosh, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.