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View Full Version : Anyone had septoplasty/turbinate reduction surgery?


Nonsuch
08-08-2005, 01:51 PM
To help combat my constant, chronic stuffy nose, my MD prescribed me Allegra and Flonase, but told me from the get-go that the medication could only do so much and that I should seriously consider seeing an ENT for surgery. I haven't done that yet, but I imagine that when I do the results will be predictable and he/she will recommend I get the surgery. Has anyone undergone this kind of procedure? I'm very curious to know what kind of recovery is entailed. Thanks.

gotpasswords
08-08-2005, 01:58 PM
I had a septoplasty about 12 years ago. Recovery will be surprisingly long - at least a week, and probably two weeks of being flat-out tired. Recovery from my laparoscopic abdominal surgery wasn't as bad as this was. Having ten pounds of surgical sponge and splints stuffed into a two pound nose doesn't help.

But, it will feel absolutely wonderful when the doctor pulls the sponges out and you can breathe through your nose again.

The Great Sun Jester
08-08-2005, 02:04 PM
Ah...yeah, it's been a while for me. Thanks for the recall got.

But apart from the increased air flow and resulting ability to clear the rhine of allergens, you will also get to learn the parlor trick: nose gargling. Just what it sounds like. Helps clear out the post surgical devastation and speeds healing. Uncomfortable at first, but it later becomes strangely...refreshing.

Do the procedure. During the recovery remind yourself that people suffer much worse through involuntary traumas like car wrecks, and just soldier through it. You'll be glad you did.

Acsenray
08-08-2005, 02:12 PM
I underwent a septoplasty and inferior lateral turbinectomy in the spring of 2004. It was to treat my obstructive sleep apnoea and it definitely did reduce my apnoea, although it didn't eliminate it. It also had the effect of almost eliminating my frequent nasal stuffiness. My nose is almost never blocked these days.

Recovery took about five days for me.

Exapno Mapcase
08-08-2005, 02:49 PM
To help combat my constant, chronic stuffy nose, my MD prescribed me Allegra and Flonase, but told me from the get-go that the medication could only do so much and that I should seriously consider seeing an ENT for surgery.
My doctor told me the same thing and I didn't want surgery so I suffered for a couple of years with the Flonase (this was before Allegra). I finally gave in and had the surgery and the change was immediate and astounding. I had to stay in the hospital overnight, bleeding through the sponges, and the recovery is not instantaneous, just as everyone said. Afterward, though, you'll feel better.

Unfortunately, some surgeries really are more effective, and this is one of them.

sweet_sue
08-08-2005, 02:52 PM
I had nose surgery for a deviated septum. The post-operative pain was extraordinary, much more than I had previously ever experienced. Make sure you have plenty pain medications and don't drive while taking them!

To help combat my constant, chronic stuffy nose, my MD prescribed me Allegra and Flonase, but told me from the get-go that the medication could only do so much and that I should seriously consider seeing an ENT for surgery. I haven't done that yet, but I imagine that when I do the results will be predictable and he/she will recommend I get the surgery. Has anyone undergone this kind of procedure? I'm very curious to know what kind of recovery is entailed. Thanks.

Acsenray
08-08-2005, 03:01 PM
Oh, and my surgery did not involve a hospital stay. I followed my doctor's instructions strictly regarding pain medication and other post-operative stuff and I got through it pretty well.

Dragwyr
08-08-2005, 03:06 PM
I also had surgery for a deviated septum. I had a headache for 2 days, but my initial recovery was about 6 days. In fact, I had the surgery on a Friday, and the following Thursday I was feeling well enough to do a magic gig for 3 hours. After the surgery I was stuffy for about 5 weeks, but then it cleared right up and I was really able to breathe.

Mama Zappa
08-08-2005, 03:30 PM
About 17 years ago, an allergist asked me if, during my brief bouts of steroids for asthma, I'd noticed my nose seemed to be less stuffy. When I said no, he said I might have a case of nasal polyps that could be surgically removed, so I should see an ENT. About a year later, I did. The ENT (one of the tops in the city) took a look and said things were so permanently swollen he couldn't even tell whether I had nasal polyps. This was something the steroids wouldn't even touch - it was a physical obstruction caused by years of severe allergies.

So I scheduled pretty much exactly what you are thinking of. Rambling reminiscences and TMI follow....

I had the surgery under general anesthesia. I've heard that some docs do it in-office with local. This seems like a very bad idea to me :eek: as I don't think it's good when the patient runs screaming from the building in terror.

When I came to, they had the nose rather thoroughly packed with about 20 pounds of gauze and stuff, and with a thin plastic "nasal airway" terminating in a little white cone-shaped thingy just outside the nostril. Looked like I was equipped with my own personal miniature satellite dish. Evidently this helps people breathe through their nose during the post-op period. I did not attempt to use it.

The surgeon I had liked to remove the packing 24 hours after the surgery. He recommended I stay in the hospital overnight afterward which (in my case) was a major mistake, I was miserably uncomfortable and literally did not sleep a wink, it took them 90 minutes to bring my pain meds, they screwed up my asthma meds, the "food" was not edible except perhaps by slime molds (may have already occurred, come to think of it). Once the packing was removed, however (and that was a real treat to experience, if not actually painful) they taped a bunch of gauze under my nostril then I trampled them on my way out the door. I would have been much better off at home. My care was truly bad at the hospital.

Went home, slept for 24 hours. Think I woke up occasionally to take Tylenol 3, more because I could than because I *had* to, the pain really wasn't severe.

After the first few days post-surgery, I had the fun of irrigating the nose with a syringe bulb of saline a couple of times a day to try to remove clots etc. from back there. I won't describe the results beyond saying that they were both impressive and (to a sick mind) entertaining.

Kept the gauze under the nose for the next 3-4 days. Surgery was on a Wednesday and I stayed out of work until the next Tuesday. I kept Kleenex nearby most of the time for several weeks as there was still the intermittent bit of blood.

Overall the recovery wasn't that bad. I was pretty wiped out for a few days and I took it easy for the next week or so once I got up on my feet. The septum itself felt sore for several months, as in a punch in the nose would probably have been a Very Bad Thing.

After a couple of weeks, I discovered I could actually breathe through my nose. I was 30. I had literally *never* breathed through my nose before. I'd had no clue why on earth people wasted money on Afrin etc. to open up their nasal passages. I mean, a stuffy nose was unpleasant but it wasn't like it ever impeded my ability to breathe....

This was a mixed blessing. I was working in a big city, commuting via the subway, and all of a sudden I could *smell* things I'd never smelled before. Many did not smell good :P

My asthma symptoms improved for several years afterward (have since worsened for other reasons) I guess because my nose was now doing its job and filtering out some of the airborne crud.

Sometimes when I blew my nose, I could feel air in my cheekbones. This completely freaked me out until I realized it was because air could get to my sinuses.

At my last followup visit, I mentioned to the doctor that since the surgery, I was having a *lot* more of, well, *boogers*. I remember saying "I don't know what the technical term is, but..." and he laughed and said "'Boogers' will do, we know what you mean". As I left a few minutes later, I heard him asking a colleague "so what *is* the medical term for 'boogers'". Anyway, all I can figure is that the gunk had been draining to the postnasal area was now going out via a shorter route :eek:

All in all, I'd do it again. It wasn't fun but it wasn't awful and the results were worth it.

Seven
08-10-2005, 02:45 AM
I'm somewhat an extreme failure case. TMI alert!!

I went for a routine septoplasty for a deviated septum, turbinate reduction and the removal of a large mass in the right sinus. This was supposed to help cure the ongoing ear problems I'd been having and help with overall breathing.

The surgery itself wasn't too bad. Out like a light, wake up with a numb face and crap shoved up your nose (I looked like this (http://www.tictokmen.com/7/home/s1_front.jpg) when I got home). It took about a week to recover and feel right leaving the house. No, it wasn't a fun week. Yes, it hurt. No, I couldn't have a proper crap for a week because of the pain meds.

It took about 3 weeks before the nose was fully safe to touch. 3 months before it felt mostly normal.

By the way, I had two of these guys (http://www.tictokmen.com/7/home/splint.jpg) shoved up my nose after the surgery. That's a ball point pen in the picture to get an idea on the size.

Before the operation I couldn't fit a cotton bud up the left side of my nose. Only about 10% allowed airflow made it through that side. It has been this way as long as I remember. After the swelling and tissue from the surgery settled down that side of my nose would fold in and collaspe when I breathe in. This resulted in 0% airflow. The ear problems got worse.

I will say in the time after the surgery and before the nose started having problems, smell and taste were vastly improved. I also found I didn't like the taste of some foods now that I REALLY knew what they tasted like. The flip side everything else tasted wonderful. I spent a few really great weeks trying foods for the first time AGAIN.

About 4 months later I was back in for another round of surgery - this time they removed the cartilage from the left ear and used it as a support to hold the nose open. (I looked like this (http://www.tictokmen.com/7/home/s2-mugside2.jpg) when I got home). The ear pieces were placed inside the nose about halfway up. They also repaired a hole that developed in the septum about 2cm in after the first surgery. More splints up the nose and another week at home. No, it wasn't a fun week. Yes, it hurt. Yes, my ear hurt more. It was several months before I could sleep on the left side. That might not seem like a big deal, but during that time I'd wake several times a night in pain because I'd roll over in my sleep. Needless to say I didn't sleep well for those months.

That surgery worked until the swelling went down.

Fast forward 8 months later I'm back in for "three's a charm". This time they take cartilage from the other ear and make a meat "breathe right" strip. This involves cutting the skin between the nostrails, peeling the nose back, chipping away on the top of the septum to make way for the new cartilage, inserting new cartilage, and putting the nose back together. (this is what I looked like (http://www.tictokmen.com/7/home/surg3-1.jpg) after that - but the three days later (http://www.tictokmen.com/7/home/surg3-day3-4.jpg) picture looks more "rough and tumble")

This really took about 2 weeks to fully recover from. By fully I mean not feeling pain all the time.

That was Jan, 2005.

My right ear is still bugging me from where they cut it up, my nose now looks like it came off Carl Mulden's face (it wasn't that nice a nose to begin with but now it's all bent and bulbus), I'm out several thousand dollars and about 4-5 weeks work, and at the end of the day I'm about where I started. I get about 20-30% airflow out of the left side unless I prop my nose open and I still have ongoing ear problems

If I could go back to the first surgery would I have it again? No way.

Cunctator
08-10-2005, 03:02 AM
I had septoplasty about 15 years ago. My ENT man said it would solve all sorts of problems, so I had the operation. It was the first operation I'd ever had and I found it quite stressful. It took me several weeks to recover from it. The later removal of the packing in the nasal cavities was absolutely excruciating. It also didn't help that the ENT surgeon left some of the packing behind which my mother removed at home several days later.

The results: no appreciable improvements with my perpetually blocked nose.

In summary: for me it was an uncomfortable waste of time and money.

Acsenray
08-10-2005, 06:56 AM
I had septoplasty about 15 years ago. My ENT man said it would solve all sorts of problems, so I had the operation. It was the first operation I'd ever had and I found it quite stressful. It took me several weeks to recover from it. The later removal of the packing in the nasal cavities was absolutely excruciating. It also didn't help that the ENT surgeon left some of the packing behind which my mother removed at home several days later.


My E.N.T. surgeon doesn't pack. He says it's unnecessary and causes unneeded discomfort.

peedin
08-10-2005, 07:42 AM
In 1997 I had polyps removed, dead tissue stripped from the maxilary sinuses, drainage holes drilled and deviated septum corrected. Had it in the hospital under general anesthesia, went home later in the afternoon with packing up both nostrils. I did manage to sleep 45 minutes of every hour. Went to the doctor the next morning to have the packing removed. Hard to believe but I had no pain. I took 2 weeks off work and needed every minute of it. I took aspirin for the occasional headache. I still have problems although pretty minor. I get a sinus infection about 3 times a year but antibiotics clear that right up. My problem is that my allergies inflame the sinuses making them vulnerable to bacteria, etc. I also continue to smoke which is the biggest factor (but I'm going to the laser acupuncture clinic this weekend to help with quitting). Had a CT scan last year which showed some very minor blockage but my ENT said nothing should be done surgically now. Would I have the surgery again? Yes.