How to Alleviate Congestion After Septoplasty?

I had septoplasty a week ago and while I appear to be healing fine, the nasal congestion at night is unbearable. I can only get a few hours sleep as I wake up every 10-15 minutes with a very dry mouth. I've been using Rhinaris (a sesame oil atomizer) to lubricate my nose 3-5x a day. My ENT is on vacation this week and I feel like I'm slowly going crazy as this has been happening every night since the procedure. Any suggestions?

Doctor Answers 1

Nasal Congestion is Common in the weeks following septoplasty

Nasal congestion is quite common- even expected- in the weeks following septoplasty.  I usually tell patients that they will be quite congested, similar or worse to how they were before surgery, for around 2 weeks after surgery.  I prefer they are pleasantly surprised if they are not too congested rather than surprised when they are congested.  For my patients who are really suffering with the post-op congestion, I recommend considering (in addition to irrigations with saline,) Afrin nasal spray two times per day for three days only, systemic decongestants (as long as there is no medical contraindication such as high blood pressure or hear problems), and, for extremely severe congestion, occasionally I will prescribe a medrol dose pak.  Another option is steroid nasal spray like Nosonex, Flonase, or Rhinocort, but these generally take up to a week to kick in, and are not so helpful for the immediate post-op period I find.  I would suggest calling your ENT's office and speaking to the doctor on call while they are away.

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