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Recovery & Support for Deviated Septum

Most people find that recovery from surgery to correct a deviated septum is relatively painless and that nasal breathing is permanently restored. NYU Langone surgeons monitor your recovery during follow-up visits to ensure that the nose heals fully.

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What to Expect After Surgery

After nasal surgery at NYU Langone, most people return home on the same day. Nasal surgery is minimally invasive, meaning our surgeon makes no external incisions. Any stitches that are used dissolve on their own within a few days.

Our surgeons rarely use nasal packing after surgery. You should expect some swelling around the nose for two or three days, and may elect to miss a few days of work or school while the nose heals. 

There is usually little pain after surgery. If you experience discomfort, your surgeon may suggest over-the-counter pain medication, such as acetaminophen. People who’ve had septoplasty can expect very little swelling in the days after surgery.

If surgeons performed additional procedures, it may take a few more days for swelling and bruising to subside around the nose and under the eyes. Your doctor may provide you with a bandage to wear on your nose for one or two days.

Your doctor asks you to schedule a follow-up appointment within the first week or two after surgery. This allows him or her to ensure the internal structures of the nose are healing normally.

Most of the time, it takes several weeks for the nose to heal completely. If surgeons performed extensive reconstructive surgery, it may be six months or more before swelling completely goes away. During this time, your doctor may monitor your healing during periodic examinations.


Some people experience symptoms of nasal congestion even after surgery. Our doctors continue to provide medical care and medication to ensure that you can breathe easily, especially during sleep. They may recommend a saline nasal rinse, decongestant medication, or steroid nasal spray to reduce inflammation in the nasal passages and allow air to flow freely through the nose.

Our Research and Education in Deviated Septum

Learn more about our research and professional education opportunities.