Thursday, April 18, 2013

My Septoplasty Experience

This post has some nasty-ass pictures of my bloody nose. Beware!

This is a summary of my experience having a septoplasty and turbinate reduction.

Monday, April 8
The day of surgery I woke up at 8am, showered and put on my PJ's. (Comfy and button front was what they suggested). We got to surgery center at 10am.
I waited with Tyson and his mom until they took me back around 11am. Tyson went back with me. First thing they did was ask me to disrobe (besides my cotton panties) and pee in a cup. Then they took me to a bed behind a curtain where I laid down and waited. A nurse came and got my vitals and checked all of my information. Then another nurse came and started to prepare my IV. (My first IV, ever!) She started slapping my hand and looking at it funny. I told her she might have a little trouble finding a vein in my hand and she agreed! She went for the arm. Holy smokes those things hurt! She even sprayed me with that cold/numbing stuff. After the IV went in, the nurse said that all of Dr. Walker's patients get Beanie Babies... she asked me if I wanted one and I said "YES!". I got a woolly mammoth named Giganto! That Beanie Baby was the best thing ever! I was nervous so I just held on to him for comfort.
Next, an anesthesiologist came in. He asked me some questions and then gave me a shot of some happy juice. It worked! Tyson said I was making Giganto "walk" around on my bed. Right after the anesthesiologist left, Dr. Walker popped in to check on me. Around 11:45am they wheeled me back to the operating room. There were about five or six people in there. They asked me to move over on to the operating table and then I was OUT! I don't remember anything after I sat up to move beds.

I woke up around 12:45pm and laid there for a little bit. I remember feeling drunk and that's about it. The lady took my IV out and I started to move around. I went home around 1:30.
do most people look this miserable after surgery?

I took my pain medicine on schedule and started my antibiotic. I ate crackers and rested, but I was not tired. Tyson got me ice cream.
I changed my drip cloth about every hour. It was fairly saturated with loads of blood each time.
Monday night I "slept" propped up and only got around 2 or 3 hours of sleep.
this was how I slept

Tuesday, April 9
I was still feeling weak and groggy. My nose was still very bloody.
My appetite was increasing so I ate some Chick-Fil-A nuggets that Ty brought me, jello, soup, and crackers. I was still bleeding quite a bit. This made it very hard to eat. That night I woke up very nauseas and uneasy. I tried taming it by going to the restroom... didn't help. I sat down on the chaise lounge with an ice pack... did not work. After about 30 minutes I vomited-up my jello and some mucusy-blood. About 30 minutes later, I vomited again. I was so upset and crying... I was just a mess. Even after vomiting I did not feel better. I cleaned and rinsed my nose and then  returned to bed and attempted to rest.

Wednesday, April 10
I called the doctor to tell them I had vomited so they called me in a prescription for anti nausea meds. Unfortunately my pharmacy could not fill it until 2:30pm so I went most of the day without eating. After sending someone for my prescription, I had Tyson get me chicken noodle soup. It actually was very soothing on my tummy.
The bleeding was slowing, but I was still wearing the drip pad under my nose. Pain was a 1-2, mostly just when I moved my facial muscles. Sleeping was very hard because I am a side sleeper and it is next to impossible to be an elevated side-sleeper.

Thursday, April 11
For breakfast I had a smoothie which was yummy and full of vitamin C. (Working on my healing here!) This was the first day I felt even the slightest hint of air flowing through my nose. It was actually very disgusting and a mental challenge. When I feel snotty air in my nose, my instinct is to blow it. Well I can't blow my nose. So I literally had to sit there and feel snotty air move around in my nose and slowly DRIP OUT OF MY NOSE... It was disgusting and very hard to and deal with.  Another mental challenge through this process was the fact that I could not taste or smell anything. This made me very depressed. I love to taste my food.

I spent a little time downstairs in the office farting around on the Internet machine. That was nice because I have been trapped in my bedroom for 72 hours. I mustered up enough courage to take a shower (no hair washing yet) and that felt really good. After my shower I made chicken noodle soup for dinner. After dinner I was so restless I asked Tyson to drive me to Shakey's so I could have an Oreo Concrete and get out of the house. I ate my concrete out in the truck while Tim and Tyson ate Gringo's. Thursday night I went to bed around 9pm and got semi-good sleep. I awoke a few times because I was hot or my neck hurt but I think I got some decent rest. At night when I can't sleep I have been watching Full House and Yes Dear.

Friday, April 12
Friday morning I called the nurse to find out if it was normal to be bleeding four days post-op. She assured me that it was normal as long as it was a mucusy blood, not a full fledged dripping bloody nose. I relaxed all day, ate soup for lunch, and napped. Boo Boo kept me company.
I took a shower and actually washed my hair! I was really craving fajitas so I braved society and went to dinner with Tyson. I wore my drip cloth but took it off in the car right before dinner. The first bite of food I ate (chips and salsa) was absolutely the most horrible taste I have ever experienced. This awful taste lingered through my entire dinner so it was not enjoyable at all. My nose was running and I was uncomfortable so I was ready to leave after about 15 minutes. I went out to the car, cleaned the snot out of my nose and put my drip cloth back on... Then proceeded to get ice cream to fill me up. We went home, took two Benadryl and I went to bed. I got okay sleep but I am no where near sleeping 100%.

Saturday, April 13
I woke up feeling really great but my nose was very snotty. When I cleaned my nostrils there was very little blood, mostly mucus. I got up, changed my clothes and decided I could not stay in the house any longer. I ventured to the mall for about an hour wiping my nose (delicately) and attempting to pretend I didn't have two plastic things shoved up my swollen nose. Afterwards, I went home and made lunch. My lunch tasted awful just like dinner did the night before. It was a lingering taste in the back of my throat that I can only assume was post nasal drip that has other strange things mixed in like old blood. I decided to take it easy for the rest of the afternoon and laid in bed and watched TV.

Sunday, April 14
I felt like I was almost back to normal. Tyson and I went to lunch, which was interesting. Since I was not wearing my drip cloth, yet I still had quite a bit of fluid coming out of my nose, I had to take Q-Tips with me and clean out my nose right before we went inside. Once we were seated, it was really hard to tell the waitress what I wanted because it was so loud in the restaurant and I could not speak very loud. If I tried to speak loud snot would just come pouring out of my nose. It must be related to the pressure created when forming speech. I don't know... I do know it was very frustrating!

Monday, April 15
Monday was a pretty good day. I showered and washed my face fairly well, avoiding any pressure on my nose. After my shower, I noticed a lot of bad blackheads had formed since I was unable to scrub and exfoliate like I did pre-surgery. To rid my blackhead problem I took a makeup remover towel and wrapped it over my nail and light scratched the surface of my nose. This removed the surface dirt and oil and was not a lot of pressure so it didn't hurt my nose.

Monday evening we went to dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings. The second I sat down I smelled smoke. I am highly sensitive to cigarette smoke and I definitely did not want to inhale any second hand smoke through my nose. It also makes me sneeze, which I have not done since before my surgery. I did not enjoy dinner because the smoke was distracting me. I just wanted out of there.

Tuesday, April 16
Tuesday was fairly uneventful. I am still not sure about scrubbing my nose in the shower. I have been lightly wiping it with astringent on a cotton-round. When my nose starts to feel "runny" I just wrap a tissue around the tip of my finger nail and stick it in my nostril to let it absorb the snot. No wiping for fear of stretching the skin away from the stitches. Tuesday night was the first night I slept without my drip cloth on. The back of my ears was very tender and sore from wearing the surgical mask 24/7 for eight days straight.

Wednesday, April 17
My nose was still really runny and my blackhead issue was really bothering me. Overall, I was back to my normal self going to lunch/dinner and working in the office.

That leaves us with Thursday/today. I got my splints removed YAHOOOOOO!!! I was so excited to get those things OUT!
she gave me a sucker to mask the taste of the gross numbing spray

My appointment was easy and she said everything looks really good. She snipped my stitch and slid each splint out. It hurt a little for a split second but it wasn't bad. She said my splints were "way cleaner" than most people's. She said I did a great job rinsing and cleaning it with q-tips.
She also said I still have a bit of swelling where the incision was and I still have a few dissolvable stitches in there. I have a follow-up in one month.
My left nostril (right side in this pic) is where the incision is. It's still red and swollen.

The most important thing is I CAN BREATH!!! This feels fabulous!! Fresh cold air flowing through my shnoz!!!

A few things I might add...
  • Any time I felt a sneeze coming on, I did everything in my power to stop it! The thought of sneezing with two plastic things in my nose scares me half to death. 
  • I absolutely can not taste anything. I mean literally anything.
  • Nor can I smell anything.
Overall, I am really happy with everything. I know it will take around 6 months to one year for everything to heal 100%.

I hope that didn't gross you out too much. If you have any questions, please ask!


  1. Yah! I didn't get the memo your domain changed....I'm so glad I found you! I'm glad the surgery is behind you. That looked brutal. I've always wanted to get a nose job but it just sounds so darn painful. I'm sure you are even more stunning now!

    1. Sorry about that! The domain change messed up a lot of other stuff, too. Oops!

      I hear that nose jobs are waaay worse than septoplasties. They don't mess with the bone for a septoplasty like they do for a rhinoplasty. I look pretty much the same, just a more symmetrical nose. Yay! Thanks for reading!!

  2. Over december break I got a septoplasty, rhinoplasty, and turbinate reduction it was pure hell!! lol i made a video about it and i think i might put it up on my blog! I could even move from my bed for a week so thats awesome that you were up and moving!

    1. Ouch, girl! I feel ya... minus the rhino. I didn't have any bone messed with so my recovery was much shorter. How are you feeling now?

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Sorry to say but the truth is i am very much scared by seeing these photos of you. After seeing this photos i think it is very much painful. Is it?

    1. It's not exactly painful. It's more just uncomfortable for a few days.

  5. I am about to have this surgery in about a month and my biggest fear is vomiting. If you had the anti-nausea meds earlier, do you think that would have helped? My doctor assures me that very, very few people have vomiting issues, but as I'm Googling, I'm seeing that it's more than very few. Thank you for writing this blog post!

    1. Hi there thanks for commenting! I do believe if I had the anti-nausea medicine sooner after my surgery I don't think I would have vomited. I know that right before my surgery they gave me something to treat nausea caused by the anesthesia but I think that had worn off by the time I started getting the nausea. I hope that helps. Good luck!

    2. I really appreciate you writing back! That is reassuring. Actually, you made the whole thing appear very doable. I'm still terrified about it, but trying to be less so. Thank you again! Ellen

  6. I am having this surgery in about a month and the splint removal is really stressing me out because I've seen countless posts saying how painful it was. Also, did you have packing in your nostrils that was also removed post-op, like the splints?

    1. I think a lot of people's splint removal is painful because they do not clean their nostrils and rinse with nasal sprays frequently enough. If blood dries to the splint and to the inside of the nose, when the splints get pulled out it will pull on that tender skin inside the nose which can be painful! Also, I'm not sure if all doctors use a numbing nasal spray like mine did but it did help with any pain from removing the splints. No, I did not have any packing in my nose, just splints. I hope that answers your questions and if you have any more just ask! Good luck on your surgery!

  7. Hello, thank you for your blog. I am on my 5th day after the exact surgery and my nose is still very painful to touch and I can't breathe well because of sinus swelling. However I was able to breathe very well the first 2 days because my Dr used hollow breathing plugs in my nose. He took those out on the 2nd day and I was breathing perfect for about 3 hours and then everything just started closing up, I'm scheduled to have my splint removed in 5 days. No matter how much I spray my nose with saline I can't clear it and I'm wondering did you have this problem with swollen sinuses making it hard to breathe other than the blood and clotting?

    1. My splints and the swelling prevented me from breathing through my nose entirely. I'm sure the reason you can't breath now after having those hollow plugs removed is from swelling. Make sure you are not active during your recovery because if you are exerting too much energy and getting your heart rate up you will swell more than usual. Keep cleaning with your nasal spray and use Q-tips to gently remove any dried blood. I would dip my Q-tip in hydrogen peroxide and roll it beside the places that I had a lot of dried blood. It would help dissolve the blood and wipe it away versus pulling it out and actually causing the wound to re-open. You want to keep the skin from reopening so be very careful when doing this. Good luck and I hope the rest of your recovery goes well!

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Hi,

    I had the same procedure as you. Did your sense of taste and smell ever fully return? If so, how long did it take?

    1. Yes it did return. Probably around 1 week after the splints were removed. I would make sure you are rinsing well with the nasal spray. I used the Ocean Spray regularly to clean any residual blood in my nasal passages and sinuses.

  10. Did you have postnasal drip after the splints were removed? I'm one day afterwards and I still feel congestion/drip. Also, thank you for writing this! It's been my bible during my septoplasty.

    1. Yes, but I usually always have a little post nasal drip due to my allergies so I'm not sure if mine was from the surgery or from my allergies. I'm glad this helped you through your surgery!

  11. I hope you still check this! I’m having septoplasty done Thursday and I’m so scared! I can handle the pain and everything but I’m having severe anxiety about only breathing through my mouth. I’ve been trying to practice and my chest feels right and heavy and I feel like I can’t get a full breath and it makes me cry and panic. How was the mouth breathing for you!? I think I’m giving myself anxiety and making it worse but I’m so scared Of the shallow breaths I almost wanna cancel

    1. I was so used to mouth breathing I didn’t even think about it, honestly. My allergies and septum were so bad I could rarely breath through my nose. You are probably psyching yourself out a bit. Your mind will make sure you breath well enough through your mouth. I wouldn’t cancel your appointment. Remember it’s only 1 week of your whole life.


Please leave comments!! I love to hear what you all have to say!!