There are many causes for a blocked nose. Professor Winter will look to understand what is causing your blocked nose. 

A deviated septum is a very common cause for a blocked nose. The septum divides the nose in half. The septum is part cartilage and part bone. When it is deviated it can reduce the flow of air through that side of the nose. It may contribute to snoring and it can mean that nose bleeds are more common. The cause for the deviation may be due to trauma to the nose but often there is no identifiable cause.  A deviated septum can not only cause blockage but also be a cause for snoring.

The operation is (usually) done under general anaesthetic as a day case operation and the aim is to remove the bent cartilage and straighten it so that everything is in the mid-line and the airway improves

How is it done?

Septoplasty is done with a cut (incision) in the inside of the nose.  There are no cuts on the outside of the nose and the nose-shape will not change.

After surgery I rarely pack the nose with anything that needs to be removed as this can be very uncomfortable. Instead I either use a dissolvable stich or a dressing that dissolves in the nose over 24-48hours

After the operation you should be able to breathe better immediately, although over a few days the nose is likely to block up because of the blood clots and mucus within the nose.  I routinely suggest a water spray for the nose to try and loosen these. 

You may need to refrain from work for up to two weeks and avoid physical exercise for one week.

What are the potential complications?

The leaflet written by ENT-UK details the operation and potential complications.

These include:

  • Bleeding, Infection, Septal perforation, Saddle change – this is when the support for the nose is removed and the profile changes
  • Numb teeth. This can occur after the operation. It is usually temporary
  • Adhesions (webs from one side of the nostril to the other side)
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