Septoplasty Recovery Tips

Septoplasty Recovery

Recovering from septoplasty surgery is different for each patient. While some patients experience minimal discomfort and return to their daily activities relatively quickly, for others, aftereffects such as swelling can persist for months. If you are planning on having septoplasty surgery, your recovery will depend on a number of factors, including your unique anatomy and what actions you and your facial plastic surgeon take.

Immediately After the Surgery

Immediately after your septoplasty procedure, your nose will probably be sore, and you should expect some bruising. You may feel a bit nauseated as well.

Your surgeon and his or her staff will monitor you at the surgical facility for two or three hours. In some cases, patients need to remain at the facility overnight. Once you have been cleared to leave the facility, a friend or family member will need to drive you home.

Recovery Timeline

Here is an approximate breakdown of the septoplasty recovery period:

Immediately following surgery

As mentioned above, you may be sore following surgery and will need to stay at the surgical facility until you are cleared to go home. You will need to rest with your head elevated for a couple of days.

Two days after surgery

Any surgical packing will be removed. However, note that the best facial plastic surgeons have special techniques that eliminate the need for surgical packing.

Two weeks after surgery

Swelling should subside somewhat and you may be able to resume most of your everyday activities. (Some swelling will persist for a matter of months and up to a year.)

One month after surgery

Your nose should be completely healed, but there will still be some swelling.

What to Avoid

For at least two weeks prior to your septoplasty surgery, you should avoid blood thinners including aspirin, ibuprofen, fish oil, garlic, herbal teas, Gingko Biloba and St. Johns Wart. Inform your surgeon of any medications or herbal supplements you take so that he or she can advise you. If you feel stuffed up don’t take over-the-counter decongestants, because some of them contain drugs that can make bleeding worse. Instead, ask your doctor what you should take.

Alcohol should be avoided for two days prior to and two weeks after your procedure, as it will exacerbate swelling and bleeding.

Avoid smoking at all costs — both before and after surgery — as it can have an extremely negative effect on your recovery and healing.

Also, avoid moving your head too much for the first few days after surgery. You should avoid wearing glasses for a few weeks. Do not engage in any rigorous activities for several weeks. Do not engage in contact sports for several months (ask your surgeon when you will be ready).


Sam Rizk, MD

By Dr. Sam S. Rizk, M.D., FACS.

Dr. Rizk is a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon who specializes in rhinoplasty surgery and a recognized expert on the latest advances in facial plastic surgery techniques. He performs a range of facial plastic surgeries at his New York practice.

Learn more about Dr. Rizk | Dr. Rizk's Google Scholar