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Alabama Nasal and Sinus Center
St. Vincent 's Health and Wellness
7191 Cahaba Valley Road,
Suite 301
Birmingham, Al 35242
Phone: (205) 980-2091

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Risks of Septoplasty/Turbinoplasty

You and your doctor have decided that you should undergo septoplasty and/or bilateral inferior turbinoplasty based upon clinical findings, medical history, and your discussion of treatment options.  The risks of this operation may include, but are not limited to the following:

1.   Bleeding, infection, intranasal adhesions (scars), transient hypesthesia (numbness), and allergic reaction are common problems of moderate consequence.  All bleeding at the time of surgery will be stopped, but some light bleeding may continue for a day or two after surgery.  Antibiotics will be given prior to the start of the operation and after surgery for a period of time to prevent infection.  If severe, intranasal adhesions may need to be later lysed.  Hypesthesia will usually fade with time.  Allergic reactions will be treated as required.
2.   Patient dissatisfaction and new nasal deformity are possible.  There are many factors which contribute to nasal obstruction which may persist despite successful correction of a deviated nasal septum.  In addition, occasionally, coexisting medical illnesses or excessive manipulation can lead to inadequate healing, resulting in new displacement or nasal collapse.
3.   Postoperative septal perforation occurs about 5% of the time.  This complication usually does not result in functional impairment, but may require a septal button or surgical correction.
4.   Rarely, septoplasty can result in injury to the base of the skull and lead to cerebrospinal fluid leak., olfactory nerve injury, pneumocephalus (air in the skull), intracranial hemorrhage, and/or injury to the frontal lobe of the brain.  A secondary intracranial infection could occur as a result of injury to this area of the skull.  Treatment will consist of placement of a lumbar drain for CSF leak, hospitalization and possibly a surgical repair of the leak.