Nose Job (Septoplasty)

Latest update: April 19, 2024
Medically reviewed by: Jordan Frey MD


Septoplasty focuses on correcting a deviated septum, the cartilage between the nostrils inside the nose. A crooked, unaligned nose can affect breathing and block airflow into the nasal passages. This condition can cause snoring, sleep apnea, nosebleeds, and headaches.  It also creates a higher chance of sinus infection.

Septoplasty aims to straighten the septum and improve the nose's functionality. Surgeons can combine it with other procedures such as rhinoplasty, sinus surgery or tumor removal. While this surgery focuses on correcting breathing issues, rhinoplasty can shape the nose to the desired form in addition.

The operation requires general anesthesia and takes about 30-90 minutes to complete. First, surgeons make a tiny incision inside the nose. An external incision under the nasal columella may also be required in some cases. They lift the mucosa off of the spetum. The bent or deviated septum is then partially removed. Other parts of the septum cartilage may be repositioned as necessary as well. Once the procedure is complete, the incision will be 
closed with dissolvable sutures.

Patients need to take 1-2 weeks off work.

Common side effects include nausea, swelling and pain. These can be alleviated with pain medication. After the surgery, doctors place surgical gauze into both nostrils. This will help to control any bleeding. Patients will have to continue breathing through their mouths. They need to keep their heads elevated and avoid touching their noses during recovery. Most side effects should subside after two weeks, and full recovery takes 3-6 months. More than 90% of patients have reported improved breathing after the surgery.

For patients worried about invasive procedures, some non-surgical approaches are available. Over-the-counter and prescription medication, saline rinses and nose sprays can ease congestion. In other cases, antibiotics may be necessary for bacterial infections in the nose. However, these will not address the anatomic issue creating these symptoms.
local with IV/general
Operation Time
Inpatient Period
Number of Appointments
Recovery Period
2 weeks

Deviated Septum Surgery (Septoplasty)

This animated video demonstrates the procedure to correct a deviated septum. The process is outlined step-by-step.


Dr. Steven Houser, from Ohio, discusses a case study of a patient that required a septoplasty. The video includes graphic footage of the operation and clinical diagrams. Dr. Houser explains the procedure and talks through the steps as they are performed.

When to Have Rhinoplasty with Septoplasty | Dr. Angela Sturm

Dr. Angela Sturm talks about the difference between a rhinoplasty and a septoplasty. She covers the cost implications and talks about what insurance will cover. She details the results that can be expected in each case. She talks about recovery time and what to expect following the procedure.