Nasal surgery, including septoplasty, turbinate cauterization, and polypectomy, are safe and effective procedures performed to treat difficulty breathing through the nose. Nasal airway obstruction may cause mouth breathing, snoring, sleep apnea, recurrent sinus infections, or frequent nosebleeds.
Septoplasty is a procedure done to straighten the cartilage that divides the interior nose. It is all done intranasally. Ideally, the septum should run down the center of the nose. When the septum deviates into one of the cavities, it impedes airflow and needs to be corrected.
Turbinate cauterization is a procedure that is commonly done along with septoplasty. It is a procedure that is done to shrink the nasal mucosa by electrocautery. A deviated septum, allergies, and exposure to environmental irritants, are the common causes for turbinate enlargment.
Nasal polypectomy is the surgical removal of polyps, which are abnormal inflammatory tissue growths. Polyps are usually due to a change and reaction of the sinus mucosa in response to an allergen. Large polyp growths obstruct the nasal passage and need to be removed.
When the decision for surgery has been made, the office will try to determine a day that is most convenient for you. Once the surgery day is confirmed with the hospital, you will need to contact your family doctor and schedule a preoperative appointment within 30 days of your surgery day. You should obtain a History and Physical as well as any necessary blood work.
You will be contacted by the hospital on the business day before your procedure. You must arrive at the hospital two hours prior to your scheduled time. This allows the staff enough time to prepare you for your procedure.
The outcome of your surgery is as important to us as it is to you. In order to obtain the best results with your procedure, we would like you to follow a few simple rules.
Two Weeks Before Surgery
- Do not drink alcohol for two weeks prior and two weeks after surgery.
- Absolutely DO NOT take any aspirin, aspirin-containing products, ibuprofen (Advil®, Aleve®, Motrin, etc). The only “safe” pain medication that is permitted is Tylenol. Do not buy any over the counter pain medications without checking with the Doctor first.
- DO NOT take Vitamin E. It is known to increase bleeding during surgery. If you are on any medications that affect bleeding such as coumadin, warfarin, or plavix, please notify the office as well as your primary physician to discuss important directions on how to stop the medication.
One Week Before Surgery
You will need to schedule an appointment at our office one week prior to your surgery. Please bring your History and Physical and all labs with you. At your appointment you will be given prescriptions for an antibiotic and pain management. These will all be used following your surgery. Please fill these prescriptions before your surgery so you will have them ready for use when you return home after your surgery has been completed.
The Day Before Surgery
NOTHING TO EAT OR DRINK AFTER MIDNIGHT. No water or gum chewing either. Your procedure will be cancelled if you do not follow these directions.
After surgery, your nose will be packed with soft nasal packing called splints. The nasal packing will prevent breathing through your nose so you will have to breathe through your mouth. Draining of red tinged mucous through your splints and on to your drip pad is normal for the first few days. If you are completely saturating the drip pad with bright red blood every five minutes for an hour, notify our office.
Please drink as much fluid as you can to help you from becoming dehydrated. Drinks at the bedside along with a humidifier (cool or warm) may help. You will need to make an appointment 5 days after you surgery for splint removal. Due to swelling, you will not be able to breathe well through your nose until the splints are removed.
Sleep with the head of the bed elevated or use two to three pillows. Sneeze with your mouth open and do not blow your nose for seven days. Absolutely no bending, lifting or straining. If you have little children, bend at the knees or sit on the floor and let them climb onto your lap. One week off work is recommended following nasal surgery.
Advance diet from liquids to soft food to solids as tolerated.
Use pain medication as directed and as needed. Start your antibiotic on the day following your procedure. Take your antibiotics as directed by the doctor. It is not uncommon to have a low-grade fever following surgery. If your fever gets to be higher than 101° F, contact our office.
You will have a gauze drip pad placed beneath your nose. Change this as needed for the first 24 hours following surgery.
Nasal congestion, facial fullness, headache and disrupted sleep are very normal postoperative symptoms and will decrease as the healing process occurs.
Notify the office
- If you have difficulty breathing or painful swallowing
- Coughing up blood or persistent bleeding.
- Pain is not managed by pain medication
- Fever is over 101° F