Septoplasty is a medical procedure performed on a patent's nose to correct deviation of the septum.
While this might seem like a simple procedure, it is done for a multitude of reasons and it is actually quite annoying to have to live through.
Generally, people are either born with deviated septums (birth defect) or they develop them due to some kind of injury, such as a broken nose. Besides the annoying "wheezing" sound a deviated septum can sometimes make, it also can lead to such problems as Obstructive Sleep Apnea and chronic sinus infections.
Septoplasty (not to be confused with rhinoplasty, which is cosmetic surgery), is performed under general anesthesia. A scalpel is used to create an incision in the septum, remove any excess cartilage, and repair the deviation. At the same time, the turbinates (masses of tissue that process the air as it is inhaled through the nostrils) may sometimes have to be surgically altered, as they tend to compensate in size (i.e. grow too large) to make up for the lack of oxygen that has been pulled through the blocked nostril.
Septoplasty is a fairly unpleasant experience. I had it done at the same time as my uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (see Obstructive Sleep Apnea for info on U3P) and I suffered far more from the septoplasty than anything else. The problem is, after major trauma to your nose (such as surgery), your nostrils tend to swell and that swelling doesn't go away until it's damn good and ready to do so. You also tend to feel like you've been repeatedly punched by Mike Tyson.
But if you're scheduled for a septoplasty, don't fret: you'll be under anesthesia and you won't feel or remember a thing. Just don't do what I did!! In some kind of post-anesthesia haze, I pulled one of the (very long) gauze tubes out of my nose, causing my swelling to be much worse than normal. (I swear, I don't remember doing it at all...man, those drugs must have been good!) I always wonder, why the hell didn't someone stop my drugged-up ass from doing such an absurdly stupid thing? Sigh...drug the patient and then turn your back on him--that's always a wise policy.
Be sure to take your pain pills on time every day--because that shit can start to hurt pretty badly if you get behind schedule. And get used to the idea of mouth-breathing for a few weeks, 'cause your nose isn't going to be much help in that department.
Oh, and unless you like looking like Apollo Creed in Rocky IV, don't look in a mirror for at least a few days after the surgery. Just some friendly advice there. Trust me, m'kay?