Are You Considering A Septoplasty With Latera Implants And Turbinate Reduction? Read On For My Experience + Recovery Tool Kit!
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I recently made the decision to undergo septoplasty. This surgical procedure is designed to correct a deviated septum, which can cause breathing difficulties and other related health issues—like adult ear infections.
The surgery itself involves the reshaping of the nasal septum, which is the wall of cartilage and bone that separates the two nostrils. I also had a turbinate reduction and Latera implants which I’ll discuss below.
While the recovery period was pretty uncomfortable, the benefits of improved breathing and overall health made the procedure well worth it.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Deviated Septum?
Deviated septum is a condition where the nasal septum, which is the cartilage and bone that divides the nasal cavity into two, is displaced to one side. Some of the common symptoms of a deviated septum include the following:
- One of the most noticeable symptoms of a deviated septum is difficulty breathing through the nose. This can be caused by the displacement of the nasal septum, which can obstruct one or both nostrils. In severe cases, this can lead to chronic congestion, which can affect the quality of life.
- Another symptom of a deviated septum is frequent nosebleeds. This can occur due to the dryness of the nasal cavity caused by the obstruction of the nasal septum. The dryness can cause the nasal tissues to crack and bleed, leading to nosebleeds.
- Facial pain is also a common symptom of a deviated septum. The displacement of the nasal septum can cause pressure on the facial bones, leading to pain and discomfort. In some cases, this pain can be severe and affect the quality of life of the patient.
- Adult ear infections can be a symptom of a deviated septum. The septum is the wall of cartilage and bone that divides the nasal cavity into two halves. When the septum is deviated, it can cause blockages in the nasal passages, leading to increased pressure and fluid buildup in the ears. This can create an environment that is conducive to bacterial growth, which can lead to ear infections.
My primary care doctor referred me to an ENT specialist (ear nose and throat) and when the ENT doc examined me, he noticed a couple more things besides a crooked septum that needed to be taken care of.
In addition to enlarged turbinates that needed to be shrunk, my nasal valve was collapsing every time I sniffed or took a dew breath through my nose—so he suggested a biodegradable implant on both sides called a Latera implant.
Latera implants are polymers and get injected on each side of your nose to keep your nose stabilized when you breathe in—allowing you to get a full breath of air. And the cool thing about these implants is that after a year, they get absorbed by your body and create scar tissue that acts on behalf of the implant.
With that said, I decided to go through with the procedure and all of the specialist’s recommendations, especially since adult ear infections were occurring once a year, and I wanted desperately for them to end.
My Septoplasty Experience With Latera Implants And Turbinate Reduction
Day Of Surgery
I arrive at the surgery center a week after my Septoplasty consult and I was pretty nervous. I’ve had quite a few surgeries before but never on my face—especially a delicate part like my nose. I was so nervous that I asked the nurse for a vomit bin and they ended up putting Zofran into my IV to keep me from throwing up.
Basically I had two huge fears while I was waiting on my hospital bed: the first was that I would wake up extremely stuffed up due to blood and the splints that they put up your nose to stabilize it, and therefore choke or suffocate, and the second fear had to do with pain—because let’s face it—even plucking one nose hair makes your eyes water, and in this case, they’d be taking out small chunks of cartilage.
Waking Up From Surgery
After my Septoplasty surgery, I woke up actually being able to breathe through my nose—silicone tubes and all. And I wasn’t in any pain because of the local anesthetic that the doctor injected all throughout my nose—in addition to whatever was going through my IV line. So no worries, you won’t be in any pain at all.
However, when I stood up to get ready to go home, my nose began to drain blood and I instantly felt congested. I definitely had to go full mouth-breather.
The nurse showed me how to tape gauze underneath my nose to catch the blood, and told me to begin using saline the next day to keep all the blood from crusting over (unfortunately, putting saline into my nose did absolutely nothing and I wasn’t able to breathe through it the entire 4 days).
At home I laid down and drifted in and out of sleep from the anesthesia. I used a reusable compress mask that went around my nose and not directly on it—trust me, any pressure on your nose is painful. And the ones that they give you at the hospital are awful because they leak water, so I’m glad I preordered my own after reading about it online.
I tried to eat, but my front teeth were sore, so I stuck to liquids and yogurt. I definitely used the pain meds that were prescribed to me when the local anesthetic wore off. I also took a capsule of turmeric/curcumin which is an anti inflammatory supplement known to reduce swelling.
That night was pretty rough. Not due to pain because the medication kept it under control, but because of the congestion. I had to sleep propped up, which wasn’t comfortable, and I kept waking due to dry mouth and a dry throat. Due to that, I went out and bought a warm-mist humidifier (it definitely helps).
I’m also pretty sure I stopped breathing a few times while I slept because I would jerk awake gasping for air. I’m pretty sure many people have experienced the same thing while recovering from Septoplasty surgery.
Post Surgery: Day 2
I woke up tired and was pretty frustrated throughout the entire day. I wanted my nose to clear out, but that’s not possible.
My nose is also very tender, swollen and bruised. My toddler accidentally (gently) bumped me in the nose with the back of her head and I cried for 30 min like a baby—yes, it’s that sensitive. Luckily, it did not mess up the shape or progress. #welcometomomlife.
I used my saline nasal spray (very gently), but all that seemed to do was make my nose stuffier (I did that about 3-4 times that day). My nose still bled so I had to continue wearing gauze underneath my nose.
Prior to bed I took my first hot shower since the night prior to my surgery with the shower head turned away and it felt great! The hot steam offered temporary relief to my clogged nostrils and I was able to tease my nose with some fresh air.
Post Surgery: Day 3
I’m having panick attacks from time to time because i can barely get air in through my tubes and it’s making me feel claustrophobic. Saline solution clears it out for a little while but then it begins to dry and crust all over again. I tell myself to hang in there as I’m getting my splints out tomorrow.
I also went out today and absolutely had to wear sunglasses because it’s so bright out but, they hurt my nose due to the Latera implants which have become swollen and are poking out through my skin. Luckily, someone online told me about a headband that lifts the glasses off of your nasal bridge and I ordered a pair because I really need to wear my sunglasses when I drive.
Post Surgery Splint Removal: Day 4
I went to get my splints removed today and it REALLY hurt. You will seriously need to mentally prepare yourself for this task. If you’ve ever had your nose hair waxed, it’s like that but worse because your nasal cartilage is so tender.
However, even though Septoplasty splint removal was super painful, I was able to take in a huge whiff of fresh air, and it was wonderful.
There’s really no subtle way to yank splints out, so having them taken out with force is pretty painful. I can honestly say that I was in more pain having splints taken out than the day I had surgery. The doctor also told me that I will have dissolvable stitches in there for a while, and to not tug on them.
Below are my before and after photos. You can definitely see how bad the septum was and how great of a difference Septoplasty made. It even changed the shape of my nose tip—making it more symmetrical.
The only concern were the Latera implants, which were looking too superficial, but the ENT doctor told me to wait it out and see if the swelling goes down.
If the implants are still poking through, then I will have to go back and have them removed in-office. The removal might create a tiny scar, so I will have to think about this.
One Year Update: I chose not to have the Latera implants removed, and a year later, the bumps finally went away. I honestly don’t think they made a difference, and it’s not something I would choose to have done again.
Post Surgery: Day 5
Last night I slept great! My nose still feels tender and slightly congested, but nothing compared to the previous days. I barely have to use my saline solution, and there is only a tiny amount of blood tinged mucus when I blow my nose. It still kind of hurts to blow, but it’s getting much better, my little neti pot is helping clear everything out too!
Two Weeks Later
The next two weeks of Septoplasty recovery, I noticed my nose going back to a normal slim shape. The nostrils aren’t perfectly symmetrical, but it’s a huge improvement aesthetically. My nose also isn’t tender anymore. If my child accidently bumps it with their head I’m not crying in pain—I barely feel it.
Overall, having Septoplasty surgery was a great decision. I am able to breathe freely without any obstruction and my sense of smell has improved also.
If you’re having Septoplasty surgery, or considering having a Septoplasty, just remember that the first 3 days are the worst, but after the splints are removed, it’s smooth sailing, and you’ll have a life changing new nose.
Below are the items I’ve used to help aid my recovery and to be more comfortable during the healing process—I call it my “Septoplasty Recovery Tool Kit”. Hopefully, these items will help you as well!
My Septoplasty Tool Kit
I’m going to share with you my septoplasty recovery tool kit that includes three crucial items for post-surgery care. These items were really essential during my recovery, and I love that they are reusable.
Reusable Cold Compress
After a septoplasty, a reusable cold compress is crucial for reducing swelling and discomfort. However, it is important to find one that is designed to fit around your nose for comfort since anything touching your nose will hurt! I highly recommend the MyCare Face Mask because it’s reusable and you can take the cover off to wash it. I still use it to this day as a self-care essential to reduce swelling from a long day!
After my septoplasty, I found it difficult to wear my sunglasses glasses due to discomfort on my nose (which was mostly due to the Latera implants). However, using a device that kept my glasses off of my nose was a life saver. It allowed me to comfortably wear my sunglasses again without pain or irritation while I healed. I highly recommend the Pro-Optics Pro-Nose Guard!
Neti Pot Nasal Cleaner
Using a neti pot after septoplasty surgery is crucial. The neti pot helps to flush out any mucus or debris in the nasal passages, reducing the risk of infection and promoting healing.
It is important to follow the instructions provided by your doctor or pharmacist when using a neti pot. With proper use, a neti pot can be a highly effective tool in your post-septoplasty recovery.
I used the easy-to-use neti pot by Carllg. I really liked that it was easy to hold, easy to clean, and I still use it to this day whenever I get sick or congested from allergies.