How to Get Back Into Shape After Septoplasty

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Your nose is divided in the middle by a structure made of cartilage and bone called the nasal septum. Sometimes the septum may be bent or buckled from an injury or may angle to one side and block the amount of air that can flow through the nose. A septoplasty is a surgical procedure designed to correct this problem. As with any surgery, take adequate time to recover after the surgery and consult your surgeon before you resume an exercise program.

About Septoplasty

A septoplasty is considered a relatively minor operation but does usually require a general anesthetic. Complications include bleeding, infection, nasal deformity, numbness of the front teeth and adhesions inside the nostril – the septal tissue adheres to the inside of the nose. The surgery is usually done on an outpatient basis; occasionally an overnight stay is required. Your nose may have surgical packing inside it to stop bleeding. Swelling from the surgery may last up to six weeks and can interfere with normal breathing.

Exercise After Septoplasty

Exercise immediately after a septoplasty is not advised because it increases the risk of bleeding and because you can't breathe normally due to swelling. While you should follow your surgeon’s instructions, physical activity such as participating in an exercise program or sports is usually not allowed for about four weeks after the surgery. Once your surgeon has given you the go-ahead, resume your normal exercise program, but start slow and build up gradually.


Even a minor surgery and the resulting inactivity can result in some degree of deconditioning, a loss of muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness. You can lose up to 1 percent of your muscle strength and endurance in one day of bed rest, according to RehabManual. Ligaments can become shortened within two weeks of immobilization. If you suddenly resume your normal exercise routine after a four-week layoff, you risk injury and exhaustion from deconditioning.

Resuming Exercise

If you normally jog, run, swim or cycle, start by going half of your usual distance at a relatively slow pace. Gradually increase the distance over a period of two to three weeks, then alternate between a slow and fast pace. After the fourth week you should be able to resume your normal program. Weight lifting is another activity that should be started slowly and built up. Decrease the amount of weight you normally lift by one-half. You may also need to decrease the number of repetitions.

Considerations and Warnings

Your body’s response to activity will tell you if you are doing too much. If you become short of breath, have pain in the nasal area or develop a headache, you have probably overdone it. Take a day off, and when you resume your exercise program, decrease the intensity. There are some exercises that may be not be able to do for a while after surgery. Consult your surgeon before you resume your exercise program or if you have any problems such as bleeding.