Information Leaflet: Nasal septum and nasal concha surgery
As a result of your health problems and the condition of your nasal septum and turbinates, we recommended a correction of your nasal septum and/or a reduction of your turbinates.
The nasal septum (septum) continues behind the nose bridge and separates the inner nose in left and right side. It can be curved (in some cases even several times in different directions) and thus narrow the required space for airflow. Nasal conchas are cavernous bodies filled with blood that warm and humidify the air we breath in. Frequently and due to indiscernible reasons, swelling is continuously and strongly increasing and constitutes an obstacle.
The most frequent reasons for nasal septum and nasal concha surgery are:
- unilaterally or bilaterally aggravated nasal breathing, which can lead to an
-.abuse of nose drops or snoring and sleep apnea, but also to
- paranasal sinus inflammations and headaches
- or deteriorate such conditions.
How is this surgery performed?
The operation is performed under general anaesthetia through the nostrils. Through an incision at the front edge of the septum the mucosa can be separated from the cartilaginous-bony septum. Then the curved parts are straightened, surpluses are ablated. In a next step, the mucosa is returned to its former place and fixed with a nasal tamponade (removal after 2 days) and (frequently) with sewed-on plastic splints (removal after 1-2 weeks). A small strip of the turbinates' tissue is cut by means of scissors.
What are the risks involved as a result of this surgery?
After the surgery and as a result of the nasal tamponade patients are required to breath through the mouth – at least for the moment. When the nasal tamponade is removed bleeding may occur. In rare cases this will require a new nasal tamponade or (extremely seldom) bleeding control in the operating room. In the further healing process, your nose may still be hampered by swellings, secretions and scab for several days. Thus, a follow-up treatment and cleaning will be required. Generally, within a month, your nose feels normal again.
Sometimes temporary numbness at the two upper incisors occurs. In very rare cases a haematoma (and even more seldom, an abscess) between the mucosa and the cartilage develops and has to be opened. The formation of holes in the nasal septum, feeling of dryness and the propensity to the formation of scab are also very rare events. Extremely rare risks are exterior changes of the nose (saddle nose, caving-in of the tip of the nose, permanent smell disorders and injuries to the skull-base.
All in all, the chances of success are very good. In some cases, however, it can be observed that turbinates slightly enlarge again after a few years.
What do I have to do before, during and after the surgery?
Already 10 days before surgery patients are not allowed to take ANY KIND OF PAINKILLERS as these drugs disturb coagulation! In the post-operative period, blood pressure should not be unnecessarily increased so as to avoid bleeding. Even though patients are permitted to get up very soon, any kind of physical effort has to be strictly avoided. This means that bathing, showering and washing your hair is not permitted for a period of 5 days after surgery until you have your first follow-up exam in our practice. Approximately 3 weeks after the surgery you can slowly start with your sportive activities again.