Doctors perform surgical septoplasty to correct deviated septums by making an incision inside a nostril to lift the skin and tissue from the septum and then removing or reshaping the bones and cartilage of the septum to allow for easier breathing and drainage, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. The surgeon finishes the procedure by stitching the incision closed and stabilizing the septum with a soft plastic sheet or splint to help it heal straight with minimal scar tissue.
Septoplasty surgery is an option when a septal abnormality interferes with breathing and other treatments have not adequately helped the problem, states Johns Hopkins Medicine. The goals of the procedure are clearer breathing, as well as less nasal discharge and postnasal drip. The surgery typically requires general anesthesia and does not usually require an overnight hospital stay. Because the incision is inside the nostril, there is no visible scarring with a septoplasty.
After a septoplasty, the stitching usually dissolves on its own, maintains Mayo Clinic. An appointment is necessary for removing the splints or sheets a few days after the surgery. Doctors recommend against aerobic activity or blowing the nose until the follow-up appointment. Depending on the extent of the surgery, it might also be necessary to avoid wearing clothes that go on over the head and to elevate the head during sleeping during the recovery period.