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Deviated Septum Surgery Experiences

This area is for Sleep Apnea questions and general Sleep Apnea Discussions.

Postby Pstar » Sat Nov 21, 2009 1:35 am

Zek...Have your Dr. determine if you need a tongue base procedure too. It could be done while you have the nose work. Most are low on the pain scale and some even reversible. You may have a tongue base obstruction that also needs addressing.
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Postby lstrong2k » Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:50 pm

Thanks for sharing your stories on this thread. I've been reading through most of the 60 pages of this post for the past several weeks and it's helped me a lot.

I'd like to share my experience:

I had a septoplasty and turbinate reduction on Monday (today is Friday). I've had trouble breathing through my nose for several years. I don't think I have sleep apnea though I have occasionally woken up short of breath.

I arrived at the hospital around 8am. After waiting a while I went in to speak to a nurse about my medical history, and to take some vital signs. After that I met with the anesthesiologist who described the process and had me sign some forms.

At around 10:30 I was called into the back room. I got undressed and was rolled downstairs into a waiting area. They injected me with a mild sedative, hooked up an IV, then rolled me into the operating room. I don't remember them specifically saying "Ok here we go!" or anything, but the next thing I remember I have liquid in my throat and I'm coughing. After a few minutes I start to come around, I'm in the recovery room at this point. By 12:30 they're giving me the post-op instructions and around 1:30 or so I'm on my way home.

There was more pain than I expected based on what I read here. The pain isn't that bad, it's just that it's constant in the way that a toothache is and there's no escaping it. It feels like the insides of my nose are burning. My teeth hurt as well. They gave me some percocet which takes care of the pain nicely and doesn't knock me out too much Acetaminophen alone seems to do the job as well but I didn't feel comfortable taking such high doses so I'll use prescription stuff. Pain is the worst first thing in the morning.

I still have the splints in my nose (no packing). They are getting removed Tuesday (8 days after surgery). The splints have little tubes built into them which allow some air in. These are uncomfortable and make it difficult to breathe, though they are tolerable. They tend to get clogged up with gunk which is a bit of a pain. I haven't found the best way to keep these clean. They told me not to irrigate which surprised me a bit. They did say I could use Ocean nasal spray a few times a day though. I've been using warm, wet Q-tips to clean out the tip of my nose. I'm also running a cool mist humidifier which seems to be keeping things comfortable and "flowing".

The day I came home there was quite a bit of blood. The 2nd day there was blood along with other material. I had to wear a "nose diaper" most of this time. I believe I could finally take the nose diaper off on Wednesday except for sleeping, and I finally slept without it last night. Most of what is draining now is clear and lightly stained with blood. I still need to keep tissue nearby at all times in case of a leak.

I slept pretty miserably the night after surgery. Gradually things have gotten better. I'm a stomach sleeper so getting used to sleeping elevated and on my back was tough. I can only really breathe through my mouth at night so my mouth is dry a lot. Running a cool-mist humidifier has helped with this.

My voice has been very weak since the surgery. Maybe due to the breathing tube, I'm not sure. It's difficult to talk but there isn't any pain.

I'm allergic to amoxicillin and clindamycin, and have recently gone through a bout of C. Diff. so antibiotics are a no-no for me. They might have given me something while in the OR but I haven't taken anything since. I'm not sure what effect this has on the recovery.

So I'm planning to get the splints out on Tuesday. Hopefully there'll be a big improvement. I'll post a followup here in a few days.
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Postby lstrong2k » Thu Feb 18, 2010 8:34 am

I had the splints out two days ago. It wasn't painful at all but was the weirdest feeling I've ever experienced. I took a percocet before going to the appointment but I'm not sure it was necessary. I went back to work the next day.

I'm breathing at least as well as before, slightly better I think but I feel like I've got a cold. I can definitely feel that a blockage has been removed. My nasal passages have a weird numb/dry/itchy sort of feeling which is tolerable but annoying.

I've been using a NeilMed sinus rinse as well as triple antibiotic ointment. I also picked up a saline gel spray but haven't decided if that's helping me or not.

Blowing my nose is uncomfortable but not painful. I'm too nervous to blow aggressively so it's not that effective. The sinus rinse really helps at keeping things clean. There's a bit of blood but there was before the surgery as well.

I'm heading back to the doc for a followup next week
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Postby sleepygrump » Wed Mar 03, 2010 4:59 am

oh wow cool thread.

my ent said mine is bent along with some swelling and paranasal mucous thickening. does that spound like it could be even bad. i mean he said to get the surgeory and im on a one year waiting list. but i looked at the scans and to me it dont look very bent at all, but definitely one side of my nose is much narrower, but it looks to me more like the bones or whatever on that side are thicker.

should i get a second opinion?
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Postby sleepygrump » Sun Aug 08, 2010 2:59 am

thought i would use this thread instead of the one i created re fear of the surgery.

one thing im aware of and that makes me think i dont reaally need the surgery even though im told i should by ENT, is the nasal turbinate cycle, i read they alternate in size throughout during the day. now i worry maybe my congestion is not really that bad.

how do you know when nasal congestion is bad enough to warrant surgery? i think i read the nose is never as easy to breathe through as mouth for a reason. but how does one know what an adequate breathing level is? especially when it changes throughout the day. at one point it can be only through one nostril, or the other, next it can be reduced some what through both.

im confused. but with my op 5 days from now im scared im doing this for no reason.

if you have any advice please help.
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Postby Tuckerplovessd » Thu Aug 12, 2010 7:49 pm

Hey everybody, I had the surgery done on august 4th. I came on this forum and looked at these reviews before and they definitely helped me out. As for the anesthesia, don't be scared. I was a little at first, but once they lay you down you'll go out pretty much instantly. All I remember was laying down and waking up 2 hours later in a different room. After the surgery I was in high spirits because of the pain medication and the anesthesia. The next 2 days is really when I felt the pain. Make sure you take plenty of vicodin or whatever they give you. Seclude yourself and go to bed early during your recovery period. Tomorrow I have an appointment to get the splints out, I am a little worried but also excited to be done with this finally. I'll let you know how it goes.
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I know how you feel

Postby viola » Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:18 am

I'm having the surgery on Dec 2nd. As an ex nurse who has looked after ENT patients and removed many a nasal pack, I guess the shoe is on the other foot. They say nurses and doctors make the worst patients and going by the tantys I pulled last admission, I guess I am guilty. I look for every single minute procedure, and get flustered if it isn't done, or if the nurse is not friendly. I prided myself on being a good nurse and always took special care with ENT pts. I'm a bit hesitant about post op and hope I don't make an idiot of myself in the anesthetic haze even though I know recovery staff are well used to it. I'm going to have to rely on my sister to look after me post op and I do not like to ask for anything and will probably look after myself and not complain. I know its only a few days of discomfort and the benefits will be great, like being able to breath through my nose, no sinus headaches and hopefully, my insomnia will improve. I have a very friendly surgeon who is easy to talk to and the hospital is only 20 minutes away. I should be grateful that my hospital stay is free thanks to the Australian health system and I get most of my doctor appointment fees reimbursed. I'll check post op and give you a (excuse the pun) blow by blow description of the experience. #-o
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Registered just to say this

Postby jwfox » Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:46 pm

I had my deviated septum restored back in 1984 when I was 10 years old. It was fixed for about 7 years then it went crooked again and I have been back to having one larger nostril for about 16 years now. I don't really notice it and can't say it gives me much trouble only having the one nostril. They say breathing through your nose is key to getting oxygen to your brain. I did have a massive brain aneurysm rupture a few years ago. I don't know if it is connected but just thought it was notable. Nice forum-thanks everyone! -Jeffrey
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Postby SleepyToo » Sun Dec 19, 2010 1:08 pm

I had surgery on my nose back in the 1980s after I broke it. I don't think that made any difference to my breathing - I still got migraines for a long time after it, and they only really went away when the cpap started working. So, maybe there is a relationship with headaches, but more likely to be due to apnea than the deviated septum. For me the worst part of the broken nose surgery was the coming down from the high - back then in New Zealand they used a cocaine and adrenaline (epinephrine) paste for nasal packing. The high was wonderful, but the coming down was not! I can say that I have legally used cocaine, though! I don't recommend it, though. I can understand how people/kids can get hooked on it after using it just once. I wanted to experience the high again, but the desire to stay on the right side of the law was stronger. What are the modern treatments? Hopefully they are not as potentially addicting.
Philadelphia Area
Diagnosed September 2009, Respironics System One w/ C-flex and humidifier
Aloha nasal pillows
Not a medical professional, just a patient with severe OSA (31) who has done a lot of reading.
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Postby LTee43 » Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:45 pm

I had broken my nose a few times in boxing matches and lastly in a car accident. Each time it wasn't fixed right and I had one nostril 85% blocked. My ENT looked up my nose and made the diagnosis on the spot that I needed to get it fixed.

I went in for surgery around 11 AM and was out around 2 PM with this godawful gauze dressing on my nose with sort of a "diaper" under it. It only really bled when I was up and around during the day.

Surgery was on a Thursday, my ENT doctor met me at a local ER on Sunday to remove the packing, weird sensation to say the least! I realized how bad I smelled from not showering for a few days. I was back to work on Tuesday and had my splints taken out 2 days later.

I had to use a saline solution for a couple of weeks total and my nose did feel funny for a few months after. Now it works great and looks a whole lot better too.

No, I wasn't sleeping. I was checking my eyelids for pinholes!
Equipment: Resmed S8 Escape, Resmed Swift Fx 61500 Nasal Pillows Mask
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Postby viola » Wed Dec 22, 2010 5:42 am

Update on my septoplasty surgery. Overall experience in hospital was good. Thanks to universal healthcare in Australia, I had a free stay in hospital, two bed ward with ensuite shared with nice lady. Only an overnight stay. I must admit my nursing days came back to me and it did help in my self management. I kept thinking though, I was a friendlier nurse in my day haha. Had a lot of bleeding post op. I recommend buying swabs and making your own nose diaper as it goes away in few days. I wanted to ask my ENT Dr questions when I saw him 5 days later, but he was not really interested. Although he was pleased with his handiwork! =D> Three weeks in, the tip of my nose is still numb and I don't have full breathing capacity, still mouth breathing. I see the ENT Dr. again in 5 weeks time hopefully, he will see if it's successful or not.
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Postby downsize » Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:44 am

Hello to all. This is my first post on these forums.

I have been diagnosed with apnea for 10 years. In 2004 I had surgery for a fairly severe deviated septum. One of my nostrils was over 90% blocked. I also had my tonsils removed, my soft palate cut away, and the uvula removed during the same surgery ( NOT RECOMMEND to do all at once !!!! )

The results after healing from the surgery were amazing ! I could finally breathe with ease. Unfortunately it did not affect my apnea, or improve my pressure settings on my CPAP one bit.

I can say that although I still breathe much better, some of the issues with the deviated septum must have reverted slightly, because I do now have nasal congestion problems from time to time, and I did NOT have any of those for the first 4 or so years after the surgery.

Looking back, I would still do the nasal surgery again, as it was well worth it, but I would NEVER have done the throat and mouth surgery knowing what I know now.
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Postby lyvia » Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:53 am

Hi. First thanks to all who shared on this forum- it's a gold mine, and made the whole experience so much better.

I have always had a deviated septum, allergies, migraines etc. and a history of some severe concussions. The last year, with age and weight gain, I was having lots of concentration problems, affecting my work. I made an appt to have my thyroid and hormones checked, thinking ADHD or pre-menopause or something. A month ago, a horse broke my nose, and I finally saw an ENT. I was so surprised that he wanted a sleep study for a broken nose! But (surprise!) I have sleep apnea, AHI of 11.4, but desaturation of 87% and zero stage 4 sleep. He took one look at my nose and said septoplasty would help a lot. I guess it is extremely dependent on the geometry of your nose, but in my case he had no doubt. So I had septoplasty and turbinate reduction last Thursday. I had demerol, then percocet, then tylenol three; the last one was a half pill yesterday afternoon. Plus steroids and antibiotics.

Today is Monday, day 4, and I feel like I slept! It's such a marvelous feeling - instead of dragging myself between chores, I keep thinking about a book I wanted to write years ago. I feel creative again! Wow. My body is still weak from the surgery (plus I have overreactions to drugs) but my mind is so much better already. Absolutely amazing.

The experience was as described - the day after, I could barely reach for a sip of water. The post-operative constipation hit me like a truck yesterday. I kept ice on my head for quite a bit. The breathing improvement is sporadic at first because of swelling and "goo," but there are moments when your sniffling pulls air differently, and you wonder. There are splints in there, but I try not to think about them.

I used the Neilmed squirt bottle for nasal irrigation because tipping your head for a neti pot doesn't work very well. I put my weight on my arms on the counter, and got my husband to talk me through it with my eyes closed. Otherwise the goo that comes out was too overwhelming.

I just wanted to share that wonderful feeling of waking up thinking what shall I do today? instead of OMG, guess I have to get up again. It came back. I'm me again. Alleluia!
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Bad experience so far

Postby eddieg » Tue Feb 08, 2011 2:21 pm

I just had septoplasty with turbinate reduction procedure last week Wednesday. When I woke up in post op I was in the most amount of pain that I have ever felt in my life. I was scheduled to stay overnight in the hospital because of my apnea. When they took me to my room there were finally able to give me some pain relief. They tried percocet but it didnt help so they gave me morphine through an IV. I had both morphine and percocet the first full day. Today is 5 days later and I still have a good deal of pain alot of nasea. I havent had to use anything but Tylenol the past 2 days. The pain has reduced a little bit but I still feel nasea and stuffed up. So far not a good thing but hoping it will get better.

Eddie G
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Postby DizzyDog » Fri Mar 18, 2011 11:47 pm

I just had a septoplasty and sinus surgery this past Monday, March 14th. Surgery was a breeze, when I woke, the only thing that hurt was my top teeth. In fact, they KILLED. No nausea, no nose pain! Trouble came about when I tried to sleep. IMPOSSIBLE. in 3 days I only slept about 4 hours. although they prescribed me Vicodin, I hadn't even thought of taking (had been alternating with Tylenol and Advil) it until Day 3 and that was because I was desperate for sleep. Well, it didn't help because I stayed awake. I must add that I'm claustrophobic and this worsened the problem.

I was miserable and my level of anxiety form the claustrophobia due to the packing was through the roof. I was scheduled to have my packing out Friday but called the Dr and begged her to take it our Wednesday.. She hesitated but did it. That night I slept 6 hours.

I am scheduled to have the splints out Monday. Since having the packing out I am able to experience short periods of being able to breathe out my nostrils (usually one at a time).

I clean my nose every morning with a hot Q-tip because usually my nostrils are completely closed off with blood. In the process of cleaning, I noticed some gooey gel like stuff come out. Kinda like the consistency of a gummy. Ive had some clots before and this does not feel like that at all. It's a little more tough than that.

What is this stuff? Is it bad that some came out? I didnt mind that it did bc I have been able to breathe out of my left nostril all day since this small piece came out and It's only been 4 days since surgery. I'm hoping someone can relate and knows what this stuff is. I'm nervous that more might come out if it's not supposed to?
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