Surgical Correction of Nasal Cavities (Septoplasty)

This page will give you information about a septoplasty and a submucous resection. If you have any questions, you should ask your GP or other relevant health professional.

What Is A Deviated Nasal Septum?

The septum is the cartilage and bone inside your nose that divides your nostrils. The septum is usually straight but it can be deviated (bent), causing symptoms of a blocked nose (see figure 1).

Deviated Nasal Septum figure 1

The Procedure

What Are The Benefits Of Septoplasty?

Your septum will be straight which should relieve your symptoms of a blocked nose.

Are There Any Alternatives To Septoplasty?

Surgery is recommended as it is the only dependable way to cure the condition. You cannot straighten your septum without surgery.

What Does Septoplasty Involve?

This ENT operation is performed through your nostrils and does not result in any facial scars or black eyes.

The operation is usually performed under a general anaesthetic but a local anaesthetic can be used. The operation usually takes about 45 minutes.

Your ENT surgeon will make a cut on the lining of your nose. They will remove the parts of the cartilage and bone that are bent and put the rest back in a straight position.

What Complications Can Happen?

General Complications

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection of the surgical site (wound)
  • Blood clots

Specific Complications

  • Developing a haematoma or abscess
  • Making a hole in your septum
  • Injury to nerves
  • Change to the shape of your nose
  • Reduced sense of smell
  • Toxic shock syndrome

Following Surgery

How Soon Will I Recover?

You should be able to go home the same day. If you had non-dissolvable packing in your nose, you will need to stay overnight and the packing will be removed the next morning.

You will need to stay off work and away from groups of people for two weeks. This is to avoid catching a cold, which could result in an infection.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.

Most people make a full recovery and can return to normal activities. However, the deviation can come back because the cartilage can gradually return to its original position.

1000x1000 diagnostic lap


Surgery will result in you having a straight septum, which should relieve your symptoms of a blocked nose. However, no serious complications can happen if a deviated septum is left untreated.

To enquire about Nasal Septum Surgery (Septoplasty) at New Victoria Hospital, call 020 8949 9020 or fill out our contact form.


Author: Miss Ruth Capper MD FRCS (ORL-HNS)

Illustrations: Medical Illustration Copyright © Nucleus Medical Art. All rights reserved.

The operation and treatment information on this website is published under license by New Victoria Hospital from EIDO Healthcare UK and is protected by copyright laws. Other than for your personal, non-commercial use, you may not copy, print out, download or otherwise reproduce any of the information. The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

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