Recovery Time for Deviated Septum Surgery

How long does it take a nose to look representable in public again after a surgery for a deviated septum ? Are there any blue/purple bruisings below the eyes after such a surgery?

Doctor Answers 15

Recovery time for a septoplasty

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 The recovery time for septoplasty is much less than a rhinoplasty. There is no bruising or swelling on the outside of the nose since the work is performed through the nostrils in the back of the nose.  The nasal bones are not broken  like in a rhinoplasty.  A septoplasty is performed for obstructing cartilage and bone blocking air flow dynamics in posterior part of the nose. There is no packing placed inside the nose, therefore it is not significantly painful, just uncomfortable since patients are unable to breathe out of their nose due to the swelling. Patients are usually able to go back to work within 5-7 days after a septoplasty procedure.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Visable effects of septoplasty

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A septoplasty procedure should only change the position of the septum for better breathing. Sometime this will tend to straighten a crooked nose but, bruising rarely happens and it really sounds like you had a rhinoplasty and not just a septoplasty. Revsion surgery if needed usually takes place at one year

David A. Bray, Sr., MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon

Septoplasty recovery

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Septoplasty does not change the appearance of the nose, as it just improves the deviations of nasal septum (midwall partition of the nose) internally. Bruising, swelling and discoloration seen following a rhinoplasty (nose job) is related to dissections and manipulations related to the nasal pyramid bones and cartilages. From a recovery standpoint, following a septoplasty for a few days minor oozing of blood can be excepted and depending on the practice of the surgeon an internal splint of variable size, shape or color can be excepted to be used. Most surgeons will remove the splints by around one week time post operatively and that will be the time line that most patients can resume normal activity and work.  

Jacob Sedgh, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

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Looking Presentable after a Septoplasty

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For a septoplasty, the operation is all done through inside the nose. The incision cannot be seen on the outside. It is very uncommon to have swelling and bruising after a septoplasty alone. You can expect to have a some bloody drainage/ blood tinged drainage for the first few days. This gets better with time. Also, depending on the surgeon, many patients may have splints sewn inside the nose. From far, most will not notice, but up close, you may be able to see them at the base of the nose. Blue/ purple bruising is typically seen after rhinoplasty/ septorhinoplasty when the bones/ cartilages of the nose are manipulated. THis is much more common if the nose has to be broken to straighten it out.

Sapna A. Patel, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Septoplasty recovery time

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I use very light packing with breathing straws in place so they can breathe right after surgery.  Some patient can return to light work after 2 days when the packing is removed

Frank Scaccia, MD, FACS
Red Bank Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 14 reviews


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Thanks for your question. You will be pleased to know that there is no discernible change to your appearance from a septoplasty surgery. This is true even immediately after the surgery, with the exception some splints far inside the nose, no-one would be able to look at you and tell you had anything done. In addition there is very little to no pain and absolutely no bruising. In an expertly performed septolasty you should literally be able to return to public immediately after surgery with no one the wiser. Hope this helps. 

Julian W. Dixon, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

The outside of the nose should look normal after septoplasty

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Septoplasty is almost always performed through the nostrils without making external incisions.  It is rare that there would be any bruising around the eyes from septoplasty alone.  There is also very little (if any) external swelling.  Keep in mind that there may be nasal congestion and bloody drainage from the nose for several days after septoplasty that may keep a patient from wanting to go out in public.

If a rhinoplasty is performed at the same time, there will be much more swelling and bruising.  The bruising from a rhinoplasty may take 1-2 weeks to resolve completely, and the swelling can last many months to resolve entirely.

All the best,

Matthew Richardson, MD
Frisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

First 24 hours most difficult.

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Recovery following septoplasty varies from patient to patient and depends on several factors. These include the type of procedure performed, the wound healing characteristics of the patient and the patient’s employment and social situation.
Following septoplasty, patients have several concerns. They want to know when they will feel better and look good enough to return to public, as well as when they can resume normal and strenuous activities. They also want to know when residual swelling will disappear and when their final result will be achieved.
After septoplasty, nasal packing is usually removed within 24 to 48 hours following surgery. Internal nasal splints are typically removed in one to three weeks following surgery if they’ve been utilized to stabilize nasal structures.
Most patients are surprised at how good they feel two to three days following surgery. Depending upon their social situation and employment, many patients don’t feel like going out in public for at least a week. This is primarily due to the bruising and swelling which accompanies this procedure.
Most routine activities are resumed in seven to ten days and strenuous activities can be resumed in four to six weeks following surgery. Small amounts of residual swelling may persist for 3 to 4 months following septoplasty.
Patients typically find the first 24 hours of recovery difficult. Once the nasal packing is removed they quickly feel better.

Deviated Septum recovery

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There is always a possibility of bruising with any surgery. There will be swelling but usually you are presentable in public within a week,

Jeffrey W. Hall, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Recovery time for Septoplasty

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The recovery time for a septoplasty depends on the level of complexity of your septal reconstruction.  In some cases, a simple septoplasty can have downtime of 3 days with little to no external swelling and limited nasal obstruction early on.  More complex septal reconstructions can have longer periods of downtime, typically around one week.  In these cases, the nose may have other procedure performed at the same time as well and recovery would be closer to that of a rhinoplasty.  

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 177 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.