Understanding Septoplasty: What It Is and Why You Might Need It

Young woman prepares for rhinoplasty while doctor in blue gloves touches her nose


At Texas Sinus and Snoring, Dr Ben Cilento has been developing advanced surgical techniques for many years. When you are looking for the best place in Houston to have your nasal, sinus and snoring issues addressed, it is important to understand what it is and why you may need it.

Septoplasty is a surgical procedure aimed at correcting a deviated septum, a common nasal condition that can lead to various issues such as breathing difficulties, snoring, and recurrent sinus infections.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the history of septoplasty, the purpose of the procedure, what it entails, and common questions related to septoplasty, including the duration of the Septoplasty Surgery, postoperative care, and potential pain management.

History of Septoplasty:

Septoplasty dates back to ancient times when early attempts to correct nasal deformities were documented. However, it was not until the late 19th and early 20th centuries that modern surgical techniques for septal deviations began to emerge.

Pioneering otolaryngologists like John Orlando Roe refined the procedure over the years, leading to the safer and more effective septoplasty techniques used today.

Quite often the post operative period involved placing large amounts of packing in each side of the nose to stop bleeding. Large splints were often placed as well to stabilize the septum.

Fortunately Dr Cilento developed faster and more accurate techniques for fixing the septum during his time in the military. These techniques don’t involve the use of large splints or packing so the procedure is nowhere near as painful as it used to be. Most people return to work the next day or within 3-4 days. 

What Septoplasty Corrects:

Septoplasty is designed to address a deviated septum, which occurs when the thin wall of the bone and cartilage inside the nose is crooked or displaced, obstructing airflow through the nasal passages.

A deviated septum can cause symptoms such as nasal congestion, difficulty breathing through the nose, frequent sinus infections, snoring, and sleep apnea. Septoplasty aims to straighten the septum, improving nasal airflow and alleviating associated symptoms.

Doctor Welcoming To Senior Male Patient Being Admitted To Hospital

Duration of Surgery:

With the experience and excellent surgical technique of Dr Cilento the duration of the Septoplasty Surgery is typically between 10 and 15 minutes, depending on the complexity of the septal deviation and any additional procedures that may be performed simultaneously, such as turbinate reduction or balloon sinuplasty.

Prior to the surgery, your surgeon will discuss the specific details of the procedure and provide you with an estimated timeline for the Septoplasty Surgery and recovery.

Packing and Splints:

In traditional septoplasty techniques, nasal packing – small strips of gauze or sponge placed inside the nose to absorb blood and support the nasal tissues – may be used during the initial stages of recovery.

However, advancements in surgical techniques have removed the need for packing in nearly all cases. Additionally, most splints are also no longer needed. 

Postoperative Pain:

One of the common concerns individuals have about septoplasty is whether the procedure is painful. In my extensive experience 81% of patients rate the pain 0-2 out of 10 on a pain scale. This same 81% only take pain meds for 0-2 days and return to work in 0-2 days.

However, 19% rate it higher and may take longer to return to work. While discomfort and swelling are common following septoplasty, pain levels can vary from person to person.

Your surgeon will provide pain management recommendations, which may include over-the-counter pain medications or prescription pain relievers to help manage postoperative discomfort.

Additionally, following Dr Cilento’s postoperative care instructions can help minimize pain and promote healing.

Recovery and Aftercare:

After septoplasty, proper aftercare is essential for a smooth recovery and optimal results. Dr Cilento and his team will provide detailed instructions on how to care for your nose, manage discomfort, and minimize the risk of complications.

Nasal congestion, mild bleeding, and swelling are common during the initial recovery period, but these symptoms typically subside within a few weeks.

It is important to avoid strenuous activities and follow-up with Dr Cilento’s team for postoperative assessment appointments to monitor your healing progress.


Septoplasty is a common surgical procedure that aims to correct a deviated septum and improve nasal function and quality of life for individuals experiencing breathing difficulties and related symptoms.

By understanding the history, purpose, and key aspects of septoplasty, you can make an informed decision about whether this procedure is the right option for addressing your nasal concerns.

If you are considering septoplasty, consult with a qualified otolaryngologist to discuss your specific condition, treatment options, and expected outcomes.

Feel free to call us for a consultation to get your questions answered by calling: 346-413-9313.