Septodermoplasty (hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia)

What is septodermoplasty? 

Septodermoplasty is a surgical procedure used to treat patients with a medical condition called hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) suffering from frequent and severe nosebleeds. These nosebleeds are extremely difficult to treat by normal techniques. Septodermoplasty involves cutting out the area on the nasal septum where most nosebleeds frequently occur and replacing this area with a skin graft.

 

How does the procedure work?

Patients with HHT are predisposed to developing telangiectasia (abnormal blood vessels with weak walls that tend to bleed). In the nose, they tend to affect the anterior nasal septum more severely. This procedure works by replacing the mucosal lining of the anterior nasal septum with a skin graft thus reducing the risk of bleeding.

 

Why is it performed?

Septodermoplasty is performed for patients who are experiencing frequent and/or severe nosebleeds. It is performed to help reduce anaemia and the subsequent need for blood transfusions.

 

How should I prepare for the procedure?

Septodermoplasty is always performed under general anaesthetic in a hospital. You will be given specific instructions before your date of surgery instructing you when to stop eating/drinking and specific medication that may be needed before or after surgery. 

 

What can I expect after the surgery?

A dissolvable material is placed into the nasal cavity after the surgery to help with healing and to minimise the risk of potential bleeding. We pay very careful attention to managing your pain after the procedure. Once at home, you will be asked not to blow your nose at all as this may disturb the skin graft and cause bleeding. It normally takes 1-2 months to fully recover from the surgery. It is important to note that nosebleeds can still occur, but the surgery decreases the frequency of bleeds and reduces the need for blood transfusions.