Septal surgery is operation on your septum. The septum is a thin piece of cartilage and bone inside the nose between the right and left sides. It is about 7 cm long in adults. In some people this septum is bent into one or both sides of the nose, blocking it. Infrequently this is because of an injury to the nose, but in most people it just grows that way. We can operate to straighten the septum.This if done alone by itself, it does not alter the outside appearance of your nose.

  • If you have a blocked nose because of the bend in the septum, an operation will help.
  • Sometimes we need to straighten out a bent septum to give us room to do other things, such as sinus surgery. The operation is not meant to change the way your nose looks.
  • In some cases a bent septum may occur with a twist in the outside shape of the nose. In these cases septal surgery may be combined with nose re-shaping surgery (septorhinoplasty) to straighten the nose.

The operation takes about 30-45 minutes. You might be asleep although some cases can be performed with only your nose anaesthetised. The operation is usually all done inside your nose - there will be no scars or bruises on your face. We make a cut inside your nose and straighten out the septum by taking away some of the cartilage and bone and moving the rest of the septum back to the middle of the nose. In most cases I prefer to use an endoscope that gives a magnified view with better illumination. The operation is more accurate with higher success and less complications. Once the correction is done,we hold it all in place with some stitches. Complex cases may require a cut across the skin between the noses and may be combined with nose job (Rhinoplasty) procedures.

Occasionally Imay put a dressing in each side of your nose to keep things in place and prevent bleeding. The dressings are called ‘packs’, and they will block your nose up so that you have to breathe through your mouth. I will take them out the morning after your operation. You may get a little bit of bleeding when the packs come out - this will settle quickly.

Sometimes we put small pieces of plastic in your nose to prevent scar tissue from forming and to support the septum after surgery. They are called ‘splints’ and we will take them out after about a week or two.

Not really, but sometimes the front of your nose can be a bit tender for a few weeks.

After the operation we may give you some drops or spray to reduce any bleeding and to clear up your nose. It may take up to three months for your nose to settle down and for your breathing to be clear again. Try to stay away from dusty or smoky places.It is important that you stop smoking.

There will be some stitches inside your nose - these will dissolve and usually fall out by themselves.

  • Do not blow your nose for about a week, or it might start bleeding.
  • If you are going to sneeze, sneeze with your mouth open to protect your nose.
  • you may get some blood coloured watery fluid from your nose for the first two weeks or so - this is normal.
  • Your nose will be blocked both sides like a heavy cold for 10-14 days after the operation.

You can expect to go home the day after your operation. Sometimes it is possible to go home the same day. You will need to rest at home for at least a week.


Northampton General Hospital
NHS Hospital
Northampton NN1 5BD
Tel - 01604 634700
BMI Three Shires Hospital
Private Hospital
Northampton NN1 5DR
Tel - 01604 620311


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Tel – 07504 818402