Septoplasty Part Three – Recovery

Part one is here and part two is here.

Last week I had my two week follow up appointment. It was with a different doctor than the one who did surgery on me. She said that everything looked pretty good.

She also gave me a little “help”. Way back in my nasal cavity were some, for lack of better term, boogers. She used some sort of tool to harvest some of those and recommended that I keep using my saline nasal spray to keep the area well lubricated. It was an odd feeling as the tool went back into my nasal cavity, this is for sure. She also said that there were still some dissolvable stitches that she could see that hadn’t dissolved yet but that it would happen soon enough.

I never had any packing with this procedure (septoplasty and turbinate reduction). There was some pretty decent residual bleeding the first few days, but that crusted over and there was no blood afterward. There was a lot of swelling. In fact, for the first few days my nose breathing was worse than before and sleep was incredibly difficult. I was mouth breathing at night, and my lips were getting chapped and my teeth sensitive. It was a pretty bad first week.

There was a little light at the end of the tunnel around day 8 or 9 post surgery. The swelling was beginning to go down and I was able to get some desperately needed sleep. I’m at day 18 now and for the most part the teeth sensitivity has gone and I’m breathing pretty well through my nose. It is still swollen a bit internally and I was told that it will be another few months before the area is fully healed. To be honest I didn’t know that it was going to be that tough.

I stopped taking the narcotics that they gave me (hydrocodone) after the first day. That may or may not have been a mistake but I’m afraid of that type of medicine for the addictive effects. It may have made the recovery better, but while I was on them I was in this very weird fog and didn’t like it.

In summary, this is going to improve my quality of life immensely. If you have a deviated septum I would recommend the surgery but be prepared for a long week or two afterward. It’s rough.

5 thoughts on “Septoplasty Part Three – Recovery”

  1. Recovery takes time. As someone once said, a person who attacks you with a knife is either a criminal or a surgeon — and the body does not know the difference!

    Glad you are keeping a positive attitude through the inevitable healing process.

  2. Good luck with your continued recovery.

    I have had three surgeries over the last decade and each time was prescribed narcotics for post surgery pain. In one case had morphine and fentanyl before the surgery for excruciating pain necessitating the later surgery, I threw up constantly for hours before the surgery, all that stuff makes me sick.

    First surgery was orthopedic, they told me to use the narcotics for five days. The first day I felt horrible on them, against my better judgment took one first thing in the morning of the second day, and seriously regretted it. Was in a confused haze and had difficulty breathing and anxiety, so thereafter I accepted post-surgical pain and only used ibuprofen.

    The other two surgeries I took two during the course of the first day of recovery and stopped thereafter. The side effects were worse than the pain, so back to ibuprofen and ice.

    I can’t personally imagine being addicted to the stuff (had oxycodone, oxycontin, and percoset, specifically). Hated the pre-surgical fentanyl too, but could tolerate morphine during the worst of the pain. I guess every body reacts differently.

  3. Good to hear that things are healing up. When my packing came out I was surprised at how much space there must be up there. I don’t have a clear sense of the elapsed time between injury and final post-op check, but then I was very young.

    I’ve had some now routine procedures in the last few years that nonetheless might have been extremely painful, but I haven’t had to use more than a small portion of the RXd painkillers.

    That’s more due to luck and seeing what addiction can do than any special virtue on my part.

    Keep healing.

  4. Glad to hear you are doing well. My surgeries have been a little bigger deal. The first was a 14 hour spine fusion at UCSF. I woke up intubated in recovery. The second was a single vessel coronary by pass 10 years ago and done without bypass. It is still open so he did a good job. The last one was a removal of a lung lobe by thoracoscopy. It was the smaller middle lobe.

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