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Laurence O’Halloran MD
Timothy Egan MD
Sarah Blank MD

After Septoplasty


You will be given a prescription for a pain medication, a steroid to reduce swelling and an antibiotic. Please use these medications as directed. Pain medication will be given in the recovery room, and you will be instructed when the next dose may be taken at home. Do not take pain medication on an empty stomach, as it may cause nausea. Use of narcotic pain medication can lead to constipation and may require the use of stool softeners. Antibiotics are to be started the evening of the surgery. The oral steroids are to be started the day after surgery.


It is normal to have some bleeding during the first 48 hours after surgery. If the bleeding becomes steady or severe, spray your nose with 2-3 squirts of Afrin (oxymetazoline) nasal spray to help control the bleeding. If bleeding persists call our office and inform staff.


We will place nasal splints at the end of your surgery. Splints help to keep the septum in place while it heals. The splints are removed at your first post operative visit 1 week after surgery. The splints are secured in place with a stitch. The splints have tubes that allow your to breath while they are in place. However, these tubes can become blocked so it is important to irrigate regularly.


All patients should begin nasal irrigation the morning after surgery. Irrigation should be done at least four times a day but can be done more often. We recommend the Neil Med Sinus Irrigation Kit which is available at most pharmacies in the nasal care aisle. Use distilled water, not water from the sink/faucet.

Sinus Rinse









What to do:

  • Diet: avoid hot and spicy foods for one week. Be sure to maintain hydration with adequate liquid intake.
  • Keep your head elevated as much as possible for the first three days. Sleep with your head elevated on pillows.
  • Place ice packs (frozen peas, crushed ice in zip lock, etc.) on your nose, eyes and cheeks as much as possible for the first three days.
  • Change the gauze pad under the nose as needed depending on drainage. You may remove it and keep it off when the drainage subsides.
  • No nose blowing for 2 weeks after surgery.
  • No heavy lifting/exercise for 2 weeks after surgery.
  • No Aspirin, Advil, Motrin or other NSAIDS for 2 weeks after surgery.
  • No traveling for one week post operatively.
  • You may notice numbness in front teeth, watery eyes, and a decreased sense of smell. These are all normal.

When to Call:

  • Excessive or persistent bleeding
  • Sudden eye swelling or vision loss
  • Migraine / severe headache
  • Neck stiffness

Follow Up after Surgery:

Your first follow-up visit will be one week after surgery. This visit should be scheduled prior to your surgery. During this visit, nasal splints may be removed and the inside of the nose will be cleaned. A topical numbing spray will be applied to minimize discomfort.


If you have any questions, please call our office at 703-573-3687.