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 23

First 48 Hours Will Be The Worst

Recovery following septoplasty for most patients is less difficult then they expect. In the immediate post-operative period, they can anticipate pain, swelling, bruising and congestion associated with difficulty breathing through the nose. Pain following septoplasty is easily controlled with narcotic pain medications, in the first 48 hours.After 48 hours, most patients are switched to Tylenol.
Patients typically have bruising and swelling following septoplasty.This usually last one to two weeks following surgery.The swelling and bruising obviously affect the patient’s appearance post-operatively.It also leads to swelling of the internal nasal structures, which leads to congestion and difficulty breathing through the nose.
Most patients are surprised by how good they feel two to three days following surgery.Depending upon their employment, social situation and the severity of bruising and swelling following surgery, patients may not be ready to work for one to two weeks following surgery.
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 three to four months following septoplasty.
After 48 hours, the typical septoplasty patient feels good, but continues to have some bruising and swelling.Although they feel better, they may not feel good enough to go out in public because of their appearance.The swelling and bruising usually resolves in one to two weeks and at that time patients are able to resume most of their normal activities.

Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 193 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
4.9 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Septoplasty Recovery

Thank you for your question. Septoplasty is a surgical procedure which generally entails modification of the cartilage of the nasal septum. It is undertaken to improve symptomatic nasal airway obstruction when deviation or crookedness of the septum is judged to contribute to those symptoms. Compared with recovery from rhinoplasty, recovery from septoplasty is generally easier and less uncomfortable. Most patients control post-procedure pain with prescription pain medications for a few days. Many surgeons prescribe a course of antibiotics for 5-7 days following the procedure. Patients typically resume most non-exertional activities the day following surgery, and are usually instructed to avoid exertion for a couple to a few weeks. Return to work is permissible within a few days, but many patients prefer to return to work after about a week. The most frequent complaint during the healing process is the post-procedure nasal obstruction which is related to early healing and swelling following nasal surgery. Always ask your surgeon for his or her specific advice and recommendations in your case. Good luck to you.

James M. Pearson, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 120 reviews

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.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 150 reviews

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
3.6 out of 5 stars 21 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
4.6 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Septoplasty recovery

Septoplasty and rhinoplasty have a similar recovery, but differ in a few important ways. There is typically very little bruising or external swelling associated with a septoplasty, while a rhinoplasty often involves much more significant bruising and swelling that can take months to resolve. Most patients will look basically normal from the outside after septoplasty alone.

With septoplasty, there is internal swelling that will cause nasal obstruction in the immediate post-operative period. Depending on the patient and surgeon, internal splints or dissolvable packing may be used, which will worsen the nasal obstruction, and are usually removed within a week or so after surgery. There are often also scabs and crusts inside the nose. I typically recommend that patients rinse the nose with saline spray several times per day after surgery for at least several weeks post-operatively.

There is some pain associated with septoplasty, but most patients do not need any narcotic pain medication after the first few days. It is important to limit physical activity after septoplasty in order to decrease the risk of bleeding. Each surgeon will give different recommendations on restrictions with respect to activity. Some doctors will prescribe antibiotics after surgery as well.

As always, a visit with a well-trained nasal surgeon is recommended.

Matthew Richardson, MD
Frisco Facial Plastic Surgeon

Recovery after septoplasty

Great question.  I tell my patients that they may experience some numbness, pain or tingling from the nose, front teeth or roof of mouth for a few hours to a few days after the surgery.  It is also very common to have blood ooze from the nose for 1-2 days after surgery.  The soft silicone stents that I place in the nose at surgery, I typically remove the next day. Almost never is there any outward bruising or swelling after a septoplasty alone, and I generally advise my patients they can resume normal activity (within reason) by the second or third day after.

David Hartman, MD, FACS
Canton Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Limited downtime after septoplasty

The first 1 to 3 days is the most uncomfortable and requires some oral pain medication use.  A septoplasty is a surgery performed on the inside of the nose so there isn't any noticeable swelling.  Breathing through the nose might be limited for a few days.  Patients can usually go back to work after 3 or 4 days.    Rhinoplasty has noticeable swelling and bruising post-operatively and recovery is a little longer. Sometimes but not always, internal nasal splints are used which are removed after 3-4 days.

David Q. Santos, MD
Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Septoplasty recovery.

 Septoplasty recovery typically has a one week recovery.  Patients typically have mild discomfort and nasal congestion.  Nasal packing is not commonly used in my practice, which has made recovery much easier.   Occasionally nasal splints are required which are removed a week after surgery. 

Philip Solomon, MD, FRCS
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 89 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.