Septoplasty & Septum Surgery Sydney for improved breathing
- Troubles breathing properly?
- Deviated septum?
- Suffering from sleep apnea?
Septoplasty is a surgical procedure that can straighten the nasal septum (bone and cartilage dividing the space between your two nostrils) to allow you to breathe more easily and comfortably.
Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Michael Kernohan is a highly experienced septoplasty surgeon in Sydney and performs the procedure in Sydney Southwest Suburbs and the Southern Highlands NSW. He is devoted to your well-being and offering safe, effective, and affordable surgery options.
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What is the Septum and Septoplasty?
The septum refers to the bone and cartilage that divides your nose into two nostrils. In some cases, you may be dealing with a deviated septum which essentially means that your septum shifts to one side of your nose.
Some people are born with a deviated septum but it can also be caused by a nose injury. As a result, it becomes increasingly difficult to breathe and can lead to other problems such as nose bleeds or facial pain.
The surgical procedure used to correct a deviated septum is called septoplasty and it aims to allow better airflow through the nose. Medicare and your health insurance may help to cover a septoplasty (see below).
Benefits of Septoplasty Surgery
Here are the top benefits of septoplasty:
- Improved Breathing – The surgery can improve the overall breathing function by opening up the nasal passages
- Improved Sleep Quality – Reduced airflow leads to problems like snoring and sleep apnea that can disrupt the quality of sleep. Septoplasty can help fix that leading to better sleep
- Fewer Infections – More open airways can help allow the mucus to drain normally, leading to fewer sinus infections
- Improved Senses – Septoplasty can help improve your sense of smell and taste if they have been previously impacted by a deviated septum
Why Get Septoplasty Surgery?
If you have always found it difficult to breathe, a septoplasty can help.
A crooked or a deviated septum is very common. In severe cases, it blocks one side of your nose, reduces airflow, and leads to difficulty breathing on one or both sides of your nose.
Septoplasty can help straighten the nasal septum by trimming, repositioning and replacing the cartilage or bone and, in some cases, both. If you are experiencing such nasal symptoms and it has started to impact your day-to-day life, it is probably time to fix your deviated septum via surgery.
Preparing for a Septum Surgery
Dr Kernohan will ask you to avoid certain medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and blood-thinning medications two weeks prior to the surgery. This step alone reduces the risk of excessive bleeding and bruising post the procedure.
If you are allergic to certain medications or have a history of bleeding issues, inform your surgeon or anaesthetist in advance. The surgery is usually performed under general anaesthesia. Hence, it is important to avoid eating or drinking anything for at least 8 hours before the surgery. It will help avoid complications.
You will need to ask a family member or a friend to drive you home after the surgery because you will still be under the effects of the anaesthesia. Dr Kernohan will also take pictures of your nose before and after the procedure so you can see how your nose has changed after the intervention.
The septoplasty surgery generally takes around 30 to 90 minutes to complete. You will be under general anaesthesia.
To access the septum, Dr Kernohan will create an incision on one side of your nose. Then, he will lift up the mucous membrane (the protective covering of the septum). After that, the deviated septum will be shifted into the right position. Dr Kernohan will also remove extra pieces of bone and cartilage. The surgery will be concluded by repositioning the mucous membrane and using stitches to hold the septum and membrane in their new position.
Recovering After Nose Surgery
Septoplasty is typically performed on a day surgery basis but can involve an overnight stay if required. You will be allowed to go home on the same day once your anaesthesia wears off. Immediately post-surgery, your nose will be swollen, painful and stuffed with cotton to control bleeding.
You will be prescribed pain killers to help with the discomfort. The nose stuffing will be removed in a day or two as well. Make sure to avoid aspirin, ibuprofen and other blood-thinning medications for a week or two.
Limit all strenuous activities and heavy lifting for at least 4 to 5 weeks post-surgery. That includes all intense exercises, sports, and lifting heavyweights. These activities can increase your blood pressure and lead to heavy bleeding.
Follow these tips for a smoother recovery:
- Keep your head in an elevated position while lying down and always sleep on your back
- Do not blow your nose for at least 7 to 10 days after the surgery
- Take all your medications on time
- Wear button-up shirts and avoid any clothing items that pull over your head
Here are a few things to avoid after nose surgery:
- Do not take a shower for the first 24 hours after getting the surgery
- Stay away from dusty, smoky places
- Take all the precautions to avoid catching a cold
- Sleep on your back and avoid putting pressure on your face
Potential Risks and Complications of Septum Surgery
Every surgery comes with a certain degree of risk and potential complications. Although septoplasty is a safe procedure, it is important to be aware of the risks that might occur. For more details about the risks and complications of surgery, check out Dr Kernohan’s risks of surgery page.
Septoplasty Cost Sydney – How much is a Septoplasty in Sydney?
Septoplasty Prices in Sydney vary from around $10,000 to $25,000. The price can vary based on the experience and expertise of the surgeon, surgical facility, and location, but also your personal characteristics and the complexity of the procedure that needs to be performed.
Visit Dr Kernohan’s pricing page for more information.
Contact Dr Kernohan’s team for a cost estimate or to schedule an appointment.
Funding Your Septoplasty Surgery
You may be eligible for a Medicare rebate as the surgery can be performed for medical reasons. Your Health Insurance companies may also contribute if you have the right health cover. Find out more about the Medicare item number.
If you need to pay for the septoplasty surgery, check out a septoplasty payment plan and financing options available.
Results of Septum Surgery
In about three to six months post-surgery, your nasal tissues will become relatively stable. The results of septoplasty can last a lifetime. In some cases, certain changes can occur up to a year or more after the surgery. If you notice any unwanted changes, immediately get in touch with Dr Kernohan.
How to Find the Right Septoplasty Surgeon in Sydney
Finding the right surgeon for your septoplasty is very important. These tips can help:
- Look for Credentials and Experience – Always start your research by looking at the credentials and experience of the surgeon. Make sure that the surgeon has extensive experience in performing septoplasty
Here is a list of frequently asked questions about septoplasty in Sydney:
Does Septoplasty change nose shape?
- Septoplasty will not usually change the shape of the nose. It can be combined with rhinoplasty if you want to alter the physical appearance of your nose.
Is septoplasty a common surgery?
- Septoplasty is a common surgical procedure used for the correction of the nasal obstruction caused by a deviated septum.
Are deviated septums common?
- Yes, they are very common. Healthcare professionals estimate that up to 80% of people have a deviated septum.
Is septoplasty a nose job?
- No, they are different procedures. Septoplasty addresses the structural issues inside the nose while rhinoplasty prioritizes aesthetic concerns.
Can you feel a deviated septum with your finger?
You can’t really feel it through your finger. But here is a simple test to do at home that will help you determine whether you have a deviated septum or not:
- Place your index finger on one side of your nose and breathe in through the open nostril
- Do the same for the other side
- Notice how easy or difficult it was to breathe in the air through both sides
- If your breathing is uneven, chances are you have a deviated septum
Will septoplasty help me breathe better?
- Yes, a septoplasty will allow better airflow through the nose and will usually result in improved breathing.
Will my voice change after septoplasty?
- It usually doesn’t impact your voice.
Why is my nose not straight?
- Most people will not have a perfectly straight nose. It is because of either of the following two reasons- you have a deviated septum or it is bent due to normal childhood growth.
Can a deviated septum get worse over time?
- Yes, there is a possibility that your deviated septum will get worse over time.
Does septoplasty make your nose bigger?
- No, a septoplasty will not usually make your nose bigger after the surgery.
What happens if you don’t fix deviated septum?
- An untreated deviated septum has the potential to lead to sleep apnea that can create further problems such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, heart attacks, diabetes, depression, worsening of ADHD and headaches.
At what age can you get septoplasty?
- There is no specific age for getting septoplasty – most teen patients have to meet special conditions and should wait until their nose stops growing.
How long until I can breathe after septoplasty?
- In about 7 to 10 days, you will usually notice a significant improvement in breathing after septoplasty.
How long will my nose be blocked after septoplasty?
- Your nose will be blocked for the first 7 to 10 days after septoplasty and will gradually clear up in a few weeks.
How long does it take to recover from a septoplasty?
- Most patients can return to work within 2 weeks after septoplasty. However, complete recovery can take anywhere from 2 to 3 months.
Does deviated septum surgery leave scars?
- If the deviated septum surgery is performed internally, there won’t be any scars. If it is performed externally, tiny scars will be present at the base of your nose.
Will I stop snoring after septoplasty?
- Yes, septoplasty will usually relieve snoring in patients with nasal obstruction. In fact, it will improve the quality of sleep.