What are the risks and complications?
This surgery, as any surgery, may involve risks of unsuccessful
results, complications, or injury from both known and unforeseen
causes. Because individuals differ in their response to surgery,
their anesthetic reactions, and their healing outcomes, ultimately
there can be no guarantee made as to the results or potential
The following complications have been reported in the medical
literature. This list is not meant to be inclusive of every possible
complication. Although many of these complications are rare, all have
occurred at one time or another in the hands of experienced surgeons
practicing the standard of community care.
obstruction due to failure to straighten the septum or later re-deviation of
the septum, collapse of the nasal cartilage, or
the re-growth or swelling of the turbinates.
to resolve coexisting sinus infections, or recurrence of
coexisting sinus problems and/or polyps, or the need for further or
more aggressive surgery.
- In rare
situations, bleeding can lead to a need for blood products or a blood
transfusion. Autologous (self-donated) or designated donor blood may be arranged in advance in case an
emergency transfusion is necessary.
nasal drainage or excessive dryness or crusting of the
nose or sinuses.
- Need for allergy evaluation, treatments, or
environmental controls. Surgery is not a cure for or a substitute for good
allergy control or treatment.
- A cosmetic result that does not meet expectations; possible need
for revision surgery.
- Failure to resolve associated "sinus or nasal" headaches. The
exact cause of headaches can be difficult to determine or be
from many different causes. A consultation with another specialist
such as a
neurologist may be necessary.
- Damage to the eye and associated structures (rare).
- Permanent numbness of the upper teeth, palate, or face.
- Prolonged pain, impaired healing, and the need for
- Septal perforation (a permanent hole inside the nose between the
to restore or worsening of the sense of smell or taste,
or failure to relieve nosebleeds.
Medically reviewed by Peter O'Connor, MD: American Board of Otolaryngology with subspecialty in Sleep Medicine
"Clinical presentation, diagnosis, and treatment of nasal obstruction"
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/20/2013
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