What is Submucosal Resection?

The submucosal resection or SMR is a surgical procedure to remove unnecessary tissue from the nose’s filters also known as enlarged turbinates. When the turbinates enlarge it can obstruct nasal airways and result in difficulty in breathing. Some people even experience sinusitis, headaches, and pains. 


When a deviated septum is not treatable with other ways and causes chronic sinus infections, then the doctor recommends undergoing an SMR. 

How does SMR involve?

The procedure of submucosal resection is a day-care one which means the patient can go back home on the same day of the surgery. Performed under the influence of either local or general anesthesia, the surgery takes an hour and a half long to fully complete. 

The ENT doctor performs an SMR entirely through the nostrils hence, there is no change in the external appearance of the nose. Moreover, the ideal candidate for an SMR is a patient who is over 17 years of age. 

After administering anesthesia, the doctor makes a cut inside the nose so that a tiny spinning blade known as a microdebrider can slice up the extra tissue. As the incision is made inside, the mucus lining remains untouched. 

What is Septoplasty?

The septoplasty is also a surgical procedure that is performed to straighten a deviated septum. Straightening the deviated septum allows better airflow through the nasal passages. 

Know here: Is it possible to treat a deviated septum?

What does Septoplasty involve?

Septoplasty involves the following steps-

  • Before the procedure starts, the doctor administers anesthesia (general or local) for comfort either through an intravenous channel or injection.
  • Once the patient is asleep, the ENT surgeon makes an incision within the nasal cavity. For septoplasty performed along with a rhinoplasty, the incision is made across the narrow strip of tissue that separates the nostrils.
  • After this, the surgeon lifts the mucus lining, the membrane covering the surface of the septum, from one side. The same is repeated on the other side of the nostril. As the mucus lining is very delicate and easily results in a tear or hole, this step is a critical one.
  • The septum is corrected either by removing the bone or cartilage.
  • Following the correction of the septum, the doctor repositions the nasal mucosal lining and sutures it back together.

Know here: How the nose looks before and after Septoplasty

In order to ensure that the septum remains intact, the doctor places splints or packing which are removed after surgery. After some time, the internal sutures inside the nose dissolve on their own. 

SMR vs Septoplasty

Although both SMR and Septoplasty correct a deviated septum, many intellectuals believe that both of these are not the same. They claim that during an SMR, large portions of the tissue are removed while in a septoplasty, only a small portion of tissue is extracted. 

A type of radial surgeryA type of Conservative Surgery
Performed entirely through the nostrilsPerformed over the nose externally
Cannot be performed in children below 17 yearsCan be performed in children also
Flaps elevated on both sidesFlaps elevated on the concave side of the nose only
Most of the cartilage is destroyedMost of the cartilage is preserved
Chances of perforation higherChances of perforation higher
Performing another surgery after this is difficultPerforming another surgery after septoplasty is easier


What are the risks that can occur after SMR and Septoplasty?

SMR and Septoplasty are similar in the sense that they both involve similar kinds of risks. Some of the common risks that people report after SMR or a septoplasty are-

None of the above complications are severe. Hence to get relief, use a humidifier, and follow the post-operative instructions given by the ENT doctor judiciously. 

How to recover from Septoplasty or SMR?

It is normal to feel the nose swollen, painful, and packed after an SMR or septoplasty. After two days of the surgery, the doctor will remove the packing. Remember to take pain relievers prescribed by the doctor. 

Doctors, generally, ask patients to limit the consumption of blood thinners such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or other drugs before the surgery to reduce bleeding.

Moreover, avoid strenuous activities such as running, lifting weights, or playing contact sports as these are likely to elevate the blood pressure and cause nose bleeding. 

If you are looking for a turbinate reduction or septoplasty, you can contact with Pristyn Care clinic today!

Read more: The difference between Septoplasty and Rhinoplasty

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