i had septoplasty and turbinate reduction done last week but without splints. Normally i saw septoplasty with splints but my doctor not used them for me. is it new procedure splints are not used? i am feeling some stuffiness in my nose after a week.
Septoplasty and Turbinate Reduction Without Splint?
Doctor Answers 4
Stents are needed after septoplasty
After a Septoplasty, internal stents are needed to keep the septum in the mid line while its initially healing. At first the septum is very weak and has little strength to maintain itself in the correct mid line position. In fact at one week there is not much more than 10% of the normal tissue strength reformed. Sometimes the stents are needed for more than a week, if the septum was particularly deviated or it was a revision case.
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Septoplasty Without Splints or Packing
You have to be clear about the differentiation between 'Splints' and 'Packing'. The most common thing used is packing. It used to be long Vaseline guaze in the past and now we use soft foam like material to stop the bleeding and keep the pressure on the septum. It usually comes out the day after surgery.
Splints usually are 'silastic' or 'plastic' sheets that are put against the nasal septum for supporting it. Those can be left in for weeks if needed.
Most septoplasties require some kind of packing to minimize the chance of bleeding. However, the splints are not that common.
If there is very little bleedind during surgery and you feel confident that patient can heal without any packing and splints, then it is the most comfortable route for the patient.
Stuffy nose a week after surgery is normal and expected as the trauma of surgery causes swelling inside which slowly resolves over one month to six weeks.
Typically use splints for septoplasty and turbinate reduction
Most septoplasty and turbinate reduction cases will require splint placement. This helps the septum heal in its new position, minimize chances of redeviation, and lower chances of septal hematoma.
However, if very minimal work is done, it is not unreasonable not to place splints. Even with splints, most patients will feel some stuffiness a week after surgery as there will be persistent mucosal swelling.
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Spilnts after septoplasty and turbinate reduction
The main reason to use splints after a Septoplasty and turbinate reduction is to prevent scarring that can occur between the turbinate and septum that can then obstruct the airway. Your surgeon may have just out fractured your turbinates or used a technique that wont create a raw edge on the turbinate. When there is a raw edge on the turbinate then I usually use splints but without a raw edge they are not necessary.