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vi tenor 95xxx, vi alto 184xxx, yamaha yss-62, the martin baritone
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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone! I've rolled with an ugly blast of sinus infection the last few years and this year I'm going to have my deviated septum corrected to hopefully fix this recurring nightmare.

Has anyone had this done? Most importantly, how long will I be out before I can blow my horn again?!

Cheers,
Rick
 

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Hi Rick. I, too, with be having my deviated septum corrected in the new year. Definitely ask your doctor about when you can play your horn again - not a bunch of strangers on SOTW!

Best wishes for a successful surgery and quick recovery!
 

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vi tenor 95xxx, vi alto 184xxx, yamaha yss-62, the martin baritone
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Discussion Starter #5
Will ask the doctor, but unfortunately the consultation is the day before the surgery and I'm booked to play a concert and a gig two weeks after the date. Would like to hear a bit from real-life horn players, even if they're strangers. ;)

Hi Rick. I, too, with be having my deviated septum corrected in the new year. Definitely ask your doctor about when you can play your horn again - not a bunch of strangers on SOTW!

Best wishes for a successful surgery and quick recovery!
 

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I had it done.
Its a lot of very painful soreness, you will not even want to play for a bit.
But the releif is great and noticable instantaneously. You won't believe how much more air you can breath in from your nose!

That added pressure you will generate from playing will not help the healing, and could do damage, of course your doc should guide you, but my advise is do what they say, and add a week.
 

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Will ask the doctor, but unfortunately the consultation is the day before the surgery and I'm booked to play a concert and a gig two weeks after the date. Would like to hear a bit from real-life horn players, even if they're strangers. ;)
Fair enough. Shame that your ability to consult with your doctor is so limited (I'm resisting the urge to make a politically-tinged comment....).

Honestly, based on what my doctor has told me, I would try to find a sub for your concert and gig: two weeks just isn't enough time to properly heal. Heaven forbid you do something that affects your recovery and you find yourself back on the operating table. Personally, I'm going to do my best to give myself a month off following my surgery. However, my doctor has told me that I can start doing some light exercises after 3 weeks. I was instructed to avoid extreme facial gestures for two weeks (laughing, etc.), and I'm sure forming an embouchure falls into that category.

Best wishes!
 

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OK, I don't want to scare anybody here as I've never personally never gone through this experience. However, Back in the 90's I was playing in a concert band and our director had this surgery. He couldn't play sax or clarinet for almost six months. He was able to play flute after only a couple weeks though. So, I would suggest a serious discussion with your doctor and don't push it trying to come back too soon.
 

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I had this surgery many years ago, and I would say that 6 weeks is a good amount of time to count on being out of commission, saxophone-wise. I'm not sure I would recommend it, either - within 3 or 4 years, my septum had deviated again. It's somewhat better, even now 25 years later, but not optimal. I do remember the "Hey, I can breathe!" sensation, but it was gone in a couple years.

For recurring or chronic sinus infections, I have found that daily washes with those spray-in nasal saline solutions are very helpful. Also, if you have allergies to pollen or grasses, the cortico-steroid sprays are good when allergies are a problem (like in spring). My ENT recommends two weeks on, one week off for these type sprays as extended use can promote infection.
 

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I had this surgery done along with the removal of a ton of polyps. It went well. It won't stop you from getting sinus infections, but the benefits are great, imho.
 

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polyp surgery and septal surgery have different levels of recovery, septum alone being much less recovery. sometimes the front teeth can feel strange after septoplasty, numb like. that goes away in a couple of weeks. if you have it, though, it may affect how you feel the mouthpiece. it's quite variable.
 

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Rick - good luck with the surgery, and I hope you get well soon.

I've had this op., and my advice is: prioritise your health; forget about playing sax until you are 100% better. The time, I suppose, will be different for everyone. But I think you should take it easy, relax, and look after your health. Your health is more important than practising saxophone. Also, taking a break can be beneficial musically: you can take it up again after 3 or 4 weeks with fresh ears, and you might enjoy it more.
 

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vi tenor 95xxx, vi alto 184xxx, yamaha yss-62, the martin baritone
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Discussion Starter #15
My wife, who has had some serious dental surgery in her 20's, said the same thing. Kinda sucks, but I think I have to agree with her now. Looks like I'll push the surgery off until my schedule is more clear in February.

Rick - good luck with the surgery, and I hope you get well soon.

I've had this op., and my advice is: prioritise your health; forget about playing sax until you are 100% better. The time, I suppose, will be different for everyone. But I think you should take it easy, relax, and look after your health. Your health is more important than practising saxophone. Also, taking a break can be beneficial musically: you can take it up again after 3 or 4 weeks with fresh ears, and you might enjoy it more.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I don't think I have the polyp issue, but my "turbonites" or something are massive according to my ENT. They will need to be reduced. Ugh. :)

polyp surgery and septal surgery have different levels of recovery, septum alone being much less recovery. sometimes the front teeth can feel strange after septoplasty, numb like. that goes away in a couple of weeks. if you have it, though, it may affect how you feel the mouthpiece. it's quite variable.
 

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I wanted to follow-up in this thread as I'm now just over two-weeks post-op. I had an "open" septo-rhinoplasty with a turbinate reduction. Basically my septum was severely deviated, my turbinates were enlarged, and I had issues with my nasal valves. This was no ordinary septoplasty. It was a full-blown functional (not cosmetic) rhinoplasty (it didn't make me any handsomer, unfortunately) performed with an "open" approach - meaning my nose was essentially peeled from my face, reconstructed, and reattached.

The procedure itself took just over two hours. I was blessed to have a very talented surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic operating on me, and the whole team was spectacular (I have health anxiety and was very nervous). Recovery hasn't been awful - the first 72 hours post-op being the worst. Honestly, hours 24-72 were the most painful because all of the really good drugs they gave me in the hospital had completely worn off by hour 24. The opioid painkiller I was prescribed (Oxycodone) did absolutely nothing for me, so I stopped taking it and relied solely on acetaminophen (Tylenol) to get me through the pain.

Today I'm 16 days post-op and still have numbness in my four upper front teeth/gum, my upper lip, palate, and tip of my nose. This is normal and seems to be improving each day. I still can't fully smile. I haven't tried to play my sax yet (killing me because I'm used to playing two hours a day) and, frankly, I wouldn't've even wanted to TRY to play for the first two weeks. Any vibration in my face (speaking loudly or singing quietly) still sends lightning bolts of pain through the middle of face (septum especially, for obvious reasons). I'm going to give it at least another week before I think about trying to play again. My surgeon said I'd probably be OK after three weeks but to stretch my "time off" for as long as possible. I'm dreading what shape my chops will be in once I get back at it.

Still, I can say that the surgery was totally worth while. I'm breathing better through my nose than I ever have in my life. Sleeping more deeply. Less tired during the day. My voice is also more sonorous and less nasal ("trapped"). My senses of smell and taste have also improved.

Note that my surgery was more expansive than the average septoplasty, so YMMV. Always listen to your doctor's advice. Happy to answer any questions.
 

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Glad to hear you’re doing well. First few weeks you’ll notice great improvement. Give yourself lots lots lots of time to heal. Especially if you’re closer to 50 than 30.
I’m still having complications from a 5 hour surgery just short of two years ago. Nothing went wrong until 4 months later. Bent over to tie my shoes. Had not played yet.

Be well,
PS
 

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I had alot of swelling and after a few weeks my breathing was free but certainly not immediately. My surgery was years ago and maybe it is more of a micro surgery now. Ask doc.
 
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