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Septoplasty is a surgical procedure that helps to straighten the septum. Many people suffer from a deviated nasal septum either from injury or as a birth defect, and often it can cause breathing problems, impact the shape of your nose, and cause nasal blockages to form more easily.

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Everything You Need to Know

Septoplasty is a surgical procedure that helps to straighten the septum.

Many people suffer from a deviated nasal septum either from injury or as a birth defect, and often it can cause breathing problems, impact the shape of your nose, and cause nasal blockages to form more easily. The nasal septum is situated within (inside) the nose, separating your nostrils and two sides of your nose; it is mostly made from cartilage and bone. A deviated septum occurs when this structure is displaced to one side, making one nasal passage smaller than the other.

Symptoms of a deviated septum may include difficulty breathing through one or both nostrils, nasal congestion, recurrent nosebleeds, and frequent sinus infections.

Although a septoplasty is typically used to straighten the deviated septum, it might also be used to:

  • allow access to remove nasal polyps
  • allow access to treat chronic sinusitis
  • stop chronic nosebleeds
  • as part of a procedure to straighten both the inside and outside of the nose (a septorhinoplasty procedure)


Before you can make an appointment for a septoplasty, you’ll need to book an initial consultation with an ENT consultant for an assessment.

At this introductory appointment, the doctor will survey your nasal passage, check to see whether there is a hole in the septum, offer treatment for any facial pain, and see if there is a way to relieve your symptoms without surgery.

Surgery is often a last option for us, as even the low-risk surgeries do require recovery time and come with some risks.

If you’re approved for a septoplasty based on your symptoms, then we’ll arrange a surgery date for you and inform you of any steps you’ll need to take before your procedure.

Before surgery, you may need to stop taking any current medications that involve aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and certain herbal supplements (as these interfere with blood clotting).

In general, a septoplasty takes 30 to 90 minutes to carry out. During that time, you will be under general anaesthesic.


A septoplasty begins by administering a general anaesthetic.. Once the team are sure that you’re asleep the septal surgery can begin.

This surgery starts by making a small incision inside the nose. In most cases, septoplasty is performed using a closed technique, meaning all incisions are made inside the nostrils. This avoids any external visible scars. In some cases, a small incision may be made on the outside of the nose (open septoplasty), but this is less common.

From here, the surgeon lifts the mucous membrane (the lining of the nasal septum) away from the cartilage and bone. The deviated or displaced portions of the septum are then carefully removed or repositioned. This may involve cutting and removing excess cartilage or bone or straightening the existing structures.

After reshaping the septum, the mucous membrane is repositioned and sutured back into place. In some cases, soft silicone splints or packing may be placed inside the nose to provide support and prevent adhesions during the initial stages of healing. If any incisions were made inside the nostrils, they are closed with dissolvable sutures.


After the septoplasty, you’ll be taken to a recovery centre to wait for the anaesthetic to wear off. Once you wake, you may notice a feeling of stuffiness in your ear, nose, and throat.

Minor bleeding and drainage are normal in the first few days. Your surgeon will provide instructions and advice on how to manage this period. If your surgeon used nasal packing or splints, these will likely be removed within the first few days after the surgery.

You will have a follow-up appointment with your surgeon to monitor your healing progress. They may remove any remaining packing or splints and check for any signs of complications. Avoid  nose blowing, hot drinks, sneezing through your nose (rather better to sneeze through your mouth), touching your nose, strenuous activities, heavy lifting, straining and bending over during the initial days to minimise the risk of bleeding and swelling. Your surgeon may recommend saline nasal sprays or other care instructions to keep the nasal passages moist and assist in the healing process.

Swelling and bruising should gradually subside over the first few weeks, but individual recovery times vary. Your surgeon will provide guidelines on when you can gradually resume normal activities, including exercise. It may take several weeks for the full benefits of the septoplasty to be realised, and complete healing can take several months.

Hospital Fee Guaranteed

from £2,375*

The price shown includes all costs associated with your treatment, from admission to discharge. Doesn’t include surgeon or anaesthetist fee. Our hospital fee is guaranteed at the price quoted and valid for one month from the date issued, subject to pre-assessment.

How to pay for your treatment

If you’re… paying for yourself

Did you know you don’t need private medical insurance to come to St John & St Elizabeth Hospital? As a self-pay patient, you can access safe, outstanding quality health care at times to suit you.

For scans and tests, as well as to see most consultants, you’ll still need to be referred by a medical professional like your GP, but as a self-pay patient, the process is more straightforward. You won’t need authorisation from an insurance provider, and you’ll have greater choice of consultant and appointment times.

If you’re… insured

St John & St Elizabeth Hospital is approved by all major medical insurance companies. If you have a personal private health insurance policy, or your company provide it for you, you can use it to pay for your care from your initial consultation through to treatment, surgery and aftercare such as physiotherapy. Not all private health insurance plans cover the same things. It’s very important to check exactly what you are covered for with your insurance provider.