A deviated septum can cause a lifetime of annoying and often painful problems with breathing through the nose and sinus problems. People are sometimes born with a deviated septum, or it happens because of an injury, and it causes problems including sinusitis, nasal congestion and loud snoring. Often, surgery is the only option to fully restore nasal passages and prevent sinus infections.
Luckily, Septoplasty is a quick outpatient procedure, which takes less than an hour in Dr. Alen Cohen’s hands and does not cause any external bruising. Septoplasty, or deviated septum repair, is a life-changing procedure. There are easy ways to improve your comfort as you recover, including sleeping better after Septoplasty.
What is Septoplasty?
The surgery to correct a deviated septum is called Septoplasty. Dr. Cohen straightens the septum and restores it to its proper position in the midline of the nose all from the inside of the nose. The lining along both sides of the septum is raised by making an incision inside the nasal cavity. Once the procedure is completed, the mucosal lining is replaced. Absorbable internal stitches are inserted to keep the nasal lining in place while it heals.
As a result of the surgery, your nasal passages are even, allowing for better air flow. This improves your breathing and quality of life.
Recovery from Septoplasty
There will be swelling and congestion in the days following your Septoplasty. There should be no external bruising if not doing any cosmetic changes to the nose. Remember, plenty of rest is key to your successful recovery. For the first few days, expect to be tired. Don’t make any plans and just take it easy for 3 days. It is also important not to blow your nose while you are recovering from surgery for about a week. If possible, have someone around for the first night to help you do things.
Avoid any heavy lifting, and bending over for 5 days. Do not smoke after Septoplasty, and always care for your nose exactly as your doctor has directed. The best thing you can do for your recovery is get enough rest. Since this is so important, we have some tips on how to get the best night’s sleep possible after Septoplasty.
How to sleep after Septoplasty
First, the good news. You should be able to get a normal night’s sleep 3-5 days after your Septoplasty once your internal nasal splints are removed by Dr. Cohen. However, the first 3-5 days after surgery can be tough. Sleeping poorly is very common, especially during the first few nights, mainly due to pain and swelling. Here are some tips on how to sleep better after Septoplasty.
Prop up your head
You will have to sleep with your head elevated for 24-48 hours after surgery to help the bleeding slow down and help the swelling resolve. Prior to surgery, set up your bed with at least two pillows so you can prop your head up at night. Some people find it is more comfortable to sleep in a recliner because it keeps your head in an elevated position. Either way, keeping your head above your chest helps diminish swelling and congestion. Keeping your head raised 20 to 45 degrees is ideal for the best drainage. Avoid rolling over onto your nose while sleeping.
Air out your space
Make sure the room you are sleeping in is free of dust and smoke. These elements make it more difficult to breath and can interfere with a good night’s sleep. Give your room a good cleaning ahead of surgery, and wash your sheets and linens. While you recover, be sure there is no smoking allowed in your sleeping area.
Apply a cold compress
If you are uncomfortable, you may apply an ice pack covered with a cloth to your eyes and forehead prior to sleeping. This helps reduce swelling, making it easier to breath. An ice pack also helps with pain so you can sleep better.
It is recommended not to use a bag of ice on your nose. Instead, use cold, moist wash cloths and lay them across your eyes and forehead. Try to cover as much of each as with the cloths as you can. Replace when they get warm. Apply before bedtime and repeat the cold compress throughout the day.
Use a humidifier
You might want to consider a humidifier in your bedroom to keep the air moist. This helps you sleep through the night by preventing your mouth and throat from getting dried out, and helps prevent crusts from forming in your nose. Be sure to change your humidifier out with fresh water nightly.
What to watch for after Septoplasty
Remember, you should inform your doctor if your conditions don’t improve within a week. Call your medical professional immediately if you have trouble breathing, a fast or irregular heartbeat, sever pain, or severe bleeding. These symptoms are rare, but if they occur you should seek medical attention immediately. Also check in with your doctor if you have a fever, changes in your vision, or an intractable severe headache.
General sleep tips
To get a good night’s rest after surgery, follow these guidelines.
- Reduce your exposure to blue light from phones or computers before bed. Use apps or glasses that cut blue light in the hours before bedtime.
- Stop watching TV two hours before going to bed.
- Don’t consume caffeine after 3 PM. Caffeine can stay in your bloodstream for 6 to 8 hours, so having it late in the day can really affect your sleep.
- Drinking alcohol before bed can negatively affect your sleep, and you should not mix pain medication with alcohol.
- Keep your room at about 70 degrees, which is the optimal temperature for sleeping.
- Don’t eat any high carb meals before bedtime. You should limit your eating for 4 hours before you plan to go to bed.
- Try some pre-sleep relaxation techniques, such as reading a book or listening to relaxing music or sounds.
For a better night’s sleep after surgery, follow the guidelines above. You will have a more comfortable recovery from your Septoplasty with Dr. Alen Cohen, and heal faster thanks to better rest. Contact our knowledgeable staff with any questions you might have about Septoplasty and your successful recovery.